Poor field conditions at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium led to the cancellation of Sunday’s preseason contest between the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts. The annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton was to have been the first NFL contest of the year.
Though new turf was installed for this year’s Hall of Fame Game, the issue in this case was the paint used to place logos on the field. After it was applied to the the turf, the paint congealed, causing the surface to harden. Most of the damage was reported at midfield and in both end zones.
After inspecting the surface, the Packers and the Colts–despite their desire to play–felt that the hardened paint made the field unplayable. Attempts were made to alleviate the problem, but the effort proved to be futile. More from ESPN.com:
One Packers player described it as “like cement” at midfield, where workers spent more than an hour trying to make it playable.
“The end zones are just as bad,” the same player said about 90 minutes before the scheduled 8 p.m. ET kickoff.
“The paint on the logo won’t allow a cleat to penetrate it,” a Colts source said. “A definite hazard to player safety.”
According to another source, the problem was made worse when workers tried to use heat to dry the excess paint, as that melted the rubber pellets in the field turf.
Fans who had purchased tickets to the game will be issued a refund. Still it must have been a disappointing outcome for many, especially given that these two teams were well represented in this year’s Hall of Fame class. Brett Favre attracted plenty of fans from Green Bay to the induction ceremony, which also saw the enshrinement of former Colts coach Tony Dungy and former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison.
Image courtesy Green Bay Packers