Packers, Raiders Play Preseason Game On 80-yard Field in Winnipeg, Canada Due to Playing Surface Concerns

JOHN WOODS / AP

A preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders on Thursday night in Winnipeg was played on a shortened field, due to concerns over the playing surface.

Coaches and executives of both the Packers and Raiders discussed and assessed the surface throughout the leadup to the game, which was played at IG Field, home of the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Those conversations included NFL officials and league personnel on site, and the decision was eventually made to play on an 80-yard field. The game was played without kickoffs and teams started at their own 15-yard line in lieu of returns. The goal line in the southern end zone began at the 10-yard line.

“Tonight’s game is being played on a reconfigured field,” the NFL said in a statement distributed to reporters in Winnipeg. “The field met the mandatory practices for the maintenance of surfaces for NFL games based on an inspection yesterday. Concerns arose today surrounding the area where the Blue Bombers’ goal posts were previously located. The 10-yard line will function as the goal line at this game. In lieu of kickoffs, the ball will be placed at the 15-yard line.”

The issue with the playing surface was over a spot of temporary turf where the CFL goalpost would be anchored. Since the CFL plays on a field that’s 110 yards long, the spot in question ended up being in the middle of the southern end zone.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Lorenzo Reyes