Mexico City will no longer be the site for one of the more anticipated regular-season showdowns in the 2018 National Football League season.
The much-anticipated matchup between the Chiefs and Rams will no longer be played in Mexico City. It was billed as a "home" game for the Rams initially in Mexico City, but now it's truly on their home turf at the Coliseum, where they're 5-0 this season.
The league made the decision later Tuesday to move the game, after consulting with the NFL Players Association, inspecting the field and meeting with independent experts. The playing surface at Azteca Stadium is "a mess" and the safety of the players is a significant enough concern that the league is considering a venue change, ESPN reported Tuesday. Believe it or not, both teams happen to be sitting in great position with a 9-1 record heading into Week 11, which makes this game even more exciting to think about. A recent concert at Estadio Azteca reportedly left the field in poor condition, and recent efforts to fix or replace the playing surface apparently had not quelled fears over potential injury. Concern about the field grew in recent days when aerial photos of the stadium showed serious damage to the grass, particularly on the end of the stadium recently used for a major concert. The stadium played host to a large music concert on November 7 and a soccer match on Saturday.
Every time the NFL plays in worldwide stadiums, the league mandates that the home team keep its stadium available as a contingency. They immediately announced plans for ticket sales starting Wednesday, with season ticket holders allowed to buy their own seats and up to four more.
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The Rams played in England in each of the previous two seasons.
Both the Rams and Chiefs are in first place in their respective divisions and are among the favorites to reach Super Bowl 53.
The Rams traveled to Colorado Springs on Monday, intending to spend their week of practice in high altitudes to prepare for Mexico City's conditions.