Estadio Azteca Field Conditions Could Be Issue For Chiefs-Rams
The Chiefs and Rams will face off in Mexico City next Monday, and there is "significant worry about the playing surface" at Estadio Azteca, according to Peter King of NBCSPORTS.com. The stadium features a "multi-use combined grass-and-synthetic surface used for soccer and concerts mostly," but that has been "made soupy by heavy rains in this year’s rainy season." Recent photos of the field "look awful." The NFL early this week will "see if surgery will be needed on the field before the game" (NBCSPORTS.com, 11/12). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Darin Gantt writes as much as the NFL "wants to expand its international footprint, such logistical issues with stadiums they don’t control are legitimate concerns." The new Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London was "built with the NFL in mind, with separate grass and synthetic fields for soccer and NFL games." However, there is "no such dedicated system in Mexico City, which is why the league is sending in the shock troops to make sure two of its best teams have an acceptable playing surface" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 11/12).
PREPARING FOR THE ELEMENTS: ESPN.com's Adam Schefter cited sources as saying that both teams "requested to play in Denver the week before their Week 11 game at altitude in Mexico City, but the NFL rejected both requests." Sources said that the league "did not want to give either the Rams or the Chiefs an advantage by giving them an additional week to play at altitude in Denver." The Rams "will spend the upcoming week training at altitude" at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs "before traveling to Mexico City" (ESPN.com, 11/11).