The official return of pro football will have to wait another few days, according to the NFL. They cancelled Sunday night’s Hall of Fame game due to the poor condition of the field. One day after Brett Favre led the eight-member class of 2016 into the hall, its president, David Baker announced the cancellation after discussing problems with the turf with both teams. He said that all fans would be fully refunded for ticket purchases, which will cost the Hall several million dollars. The safety of the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers had to be considered during the tough call.
Baker noted that the field was new and had been approved when inspected after its first installation. But paint congealed at midfield and in the end zone, hardening those areas. Workers used a variety of equipment to smooth the artificial surface. Rubber pellets used in the turf came loose and were scattered in several spots and needed to be removed, as well.
The turf at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton will be replaced for next year’s Hall of Fame Game, according to a Hall source. All logos will be stitched into the surface so there will not be any issues like there were Sunday in which the field was deemed unfit for the Packers-Colts preseason opener.
The change in turf was already planned and was not a reaction to Sunday’s game problems. Not only is it an embarrassing moment for the league with fans, but it’s also more stress added onto undrafted players awaiting their outcome for the season.