Last night was supposed to signal the beginning of the 2016 NFL season with the first game since the first Sunday in February, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts. However, the Hall of Fame, NFL and NFLPA decided that it would be best to cancel the game due to concerns about the safety of the field.
The NFL and NFLPA announced, “Due to safety concerns with the condition of the playing surface in Canton, tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers has been cancelled. We are very disappointed for our fans, but player safety is our primary concern, and as a result, we could not play an NFL game on this field tonight.”
The safety concerns regarded the paint on the field. It had reportedly congealed and rubberized, making the end zone and midfield logo like concrete. All the players had a chance to go on the field and a lot spoke about the risks of the field.
Hall of Fame President David Baker announced that the fans will all be refunded their ticket prices, the whole debacle will cost the non-profit Hall of Fame millions of dollars, but Baker said, “This is a hard decision, but we know it is the right decision.”
This is not the first time that the Hall of Fame game has been cancelled, but it is for this reason. The game has twice been abandoned part way through due to severe weather and the only other time that the game was cancelled prior to kick off was in 2011 due to the NFL Lockout.
Though a lot of veterans will not have minded much about having one less preseason game to play, this extra game would have been absolutely huge for a lot of young players who will be battling for a roster spot in the coming weeks. This game perhaps would’ve been their best chance to get more playing time as veterans will play more and more as the preseason goes on.
For us fans though, all this means is we now just have to wait until Thursday Night for the first football game of the 2016 season.