KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs are no longer headed to Mexico for Monday night's showdown with the Rams and will instead head to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum due to issues with the turf at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
A statement by the league said the decision was reached in consultation with the NFL Players Association following an inspection Tuesday afternoon by league officials and representatives from both clubs. The inspection determined that the field did not meet the league's standards for playability and consistency, and would not meet those standards before Monday night's game time.
"We have worked extensively with our partners at Estadio Azteca for months in preparation for this game," said Mark Waller, NFL executive vice president of international, in a statement announcing the relocation of the game.
"Until very recently, we had no major concerns. But, the combination of a difficult rainy season and a heavy multi-event calendar of events at the stadium, have resulted in significant damage to the field that presents unnecessary risks to player safety and makes it unsuitable to host an NFL game. As a result, we have determined that moving the game is the right decision, and one that we needed to announce now in order to allow our teams and fans to make alternate arrangements."
California Forest Fires
The relocation of Monday's game to Los Angeles prompted some fan concerns about the current forest fires raging in California, but the air quality forecast shows little concern for the area near The Coliseum.
The EPA air quality index in the region around the stadium for the Tuesday was considered good and the forecast shows only moderate concern for air quality issues.
The Rams cancelled practice last Friday due to the fires. However, the Rams training complex in Thousand Oaks is much closer to the fire zone and approximately 40 miles away from The Coliseum.
Buying Tickets to the Game
The Rams have opened up sales for their season ticket members. Their season ticket holders also have a three-hour presale on Wednesday to purchase up to four additional tickets.
General public sales start at 3 p.m. central time Wednesday on the team's website at www.TheRams.com. Only mobile tickets will be issued for the game.
The Rams also plan to provide complimentary tickets to first responders from the greater Los Angeles community along with families impacted by recent tragedies including the forest fires and last week's mass shooting in Thousand Oaks.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said on Monday he was aware of concerns with the turf at Estadio Azteca, but believed the league would make the right decision regarding the game.
“I've seen it but I think the NFL, they're on top of it,” Reid said. “They do a great job with all that stuff so I'm not really worried about all that.”
The NFL said it would release information in ticket reimbursement procedures during the next few days. The Rams expect to announce ticket information and other details for Monday night's game as soon as possible.