The Packers And Raiders Preseason Game In Winnipeg Was A Disaster Played On An 80-Yard Field


NFL preseason football is one of the worst tickets in pro sports, and it got much worse with the Canadian exchange rate on Thursday night. Preseason football is a tough sell for anyone at full price because the first string doesn’t play much of the game, food prices are still expensive and the result of the game doesn’t matter at all. But the NFL and owners still make full profit from the games, and sometimes they even try to make them an international event.

The Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders, for example, were set to play a Week 3 preseason game in Winnipeg on Thursday night that, well, not many people in the Manitoban city were all that excited about. For starters, well, it was wildly expensive to attend what amounts to a meaningless game.

According to a Washington Post article about the insanely high ticket prices, good seats were still available before the game at about $330 bucks American.

While that’s ludicrous, the average lower-bowl seat still is going for $300 Canadian, Friesen reports. According to Ticketmaster, the cheapest ticket — an end-zone seat in Section 120 — is $94.25 Canadian (about 71 bucks American).

You could have gotten an 11-game Blue Bombers season ticket for $254.50, according to reports from June.

That set the stage for a poorly attended game in a 33,134-seat stadium built for Canadian football. But first, before we get into the chaos, the lighthearted stuff. Aaron Rodgers showed up to the stadium wearing a Canadian Tuxedo.

Back to that whole Canadian football thing. It’s different than American football in some very specific ways. The goal posts, for example, are in the end zone that’s twice the size of an NFL end zone. And when your stadium is built for that, well, you could have some field issues. Like this!

There was more than just “some” attention on that spot, actually. In fact, as warmups began and NFL officials and the teams looked at the field, rumors swirled that they would play around it. That is, on a 80-yard field with one real end zone.

And as game time grew closer, they actually made an 80-yard field happen. Yes, like the Bears playing at Chicago Stadium in the 1932 NFL playoff game against the Portsmouth Spartans.

This is, to put it mildly, completely ridiculous.

Another fun note, because of the short field: no kickoffs.

The concept was so bad that a lot of Packers players straight up didn’t play in the game, though they were supposed to given it was the third of the preseason, usually considered the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season.

The game did go on after all….

…but a LOT of Packers players didn’t take the field, including Aaron Rodgers.

And check out all the empty seats that came out for the big game.

The NFL did issue a statement about the field conditions, though it basically just set up special ground rules without explaining much of anything. Once it started the game was, visually, a nightmare. Check out this punt fielded on the 23 13 by the Raiders.

This is so weird.

No one was happy watching this game.

At least this touchdown went into a real end zone.

None of this is the fault of the fine people of Winnipeg but boy, what a mess.