Eight weeks from today, the Pro Bowl will be played at Alhoa Stadium in Hawaii. Today, the playing surface at Aloha Stadium was deemed unfit to host a soccer game.
The U.S. Women’s National Team canceled its scheduled game today because the players felt the turf at Aloha Stadium was unsafe to play on.
“Very disappointed with the surface, to be honest,” said midfielder Carli Lloyd, via the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “I think coming to Hawaii is great and it’s great to be able to play here. But you take a look at the field, it’s just not good enough … You look at a surface like this, you just worry that people are going to get injured and something’s going to happen.”
NFL spokesman Michael Signora told PFT via email that the league will make sure that the playing surface is safe for the Pro Bowl.
“We inspect the Pro Bowl field every year well in advance of the game and on an ongoing basis to ensure that it meets our specifications and is comparable to other NFL surfaces,” Signora said.
One piece of good news from the NFL’s perspective is that the soccer players were most concerned about the state of the playing surface near the sidelines, which would be out of bounds during the Pro Bowl, as soccer fields are wider than football fields. And with the Hawaii Bowl slated to be played at Aloha Stadium on December 24, the league will soon have an opportunity to see exactly how the playing surface looks during a football game.
Still, the NFL already has a hard enough time getting players to agree to play in the Pro Bowl. If there are any concerns that the playing surface could cause injuries, more players than ever may decline their invitations to the Pro Bowl.