MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexico Citys Azteca Stadium is looking to put its best face forward Monday night when it hosts a regular-season matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, after last seasons NFL game had to be moved to the L.A. Coliseum in a major black eye for the arena and the league.
Poor field conditions forced the last-minute change of venue, which prompted headlines like Colossal Shame from the Mexican sports newspaper Record and others, and since then league and stadium officials have taken steps to ensure the marquee event comes off without a hitch in one of the NFLs most important overseas markets.
The hybrid turf that never quite took in Azteca has been swapped out for natural grass. Womens soccer league matches were moved to a different venue, and fewer events in general have been scheduled for the 84,000-seat Azteca. Last year, concerts in the days leading up to the scheduled game between the Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams contributed to the ragged field conditions.