Hall of Fame offering refunds for direct buyers

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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CANTON, Ohio - The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Monday that it will refund the price of all tickets to Sunday's canceled Hall of Fame Game except those purchased on the secondary market.

On its website, the Hall of Fame said the full price of original ticket purchases would be refunded by Aug. 31.

Thousands of Green Bay Packers fans will be among those seeking refunds after the game between the Packers and Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night was canceled because the artificial surface in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium was unplayable.

According to league officials, the NFL is reviewing what happened to cause the paint on the artificial surface to turn into a stiff, gooey mess. Both teams agreed that the surface was unsafe for its players and the Hall of Fame eventually agreed about an hour before kickoff.

In an interview with the Canton Repository, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the NFL had no intention of ending its tradition of playing the first preseason game of the season in Canton.

"We are spending time with the Hall, and turf suppliers to determine what happened to make sure what happened in Canton doesn’t occur in other games," McCarthy said. "The NFL has a tremendous amount of respect for (Hall president) David Baker and the Hall of Fame and the entire community in Canton.

"Obviously, there were disappointed fans who were there and we were disappointed for the people of Canton who are tremendous hosts. We respect all the hard work that goes into hosting this weekend."

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There have been varying reports on what exactly occurred to cause the paint to melt with the turf and the rubber pellets used to make the surface more giving. Some reports have said the field was painted weeks ago and some have said it was touched up before the game.

Baker spoke to NFL Network and said every attempt was made to loosen up the turf.

"The folks with the field tried to remediate that by dropping some other pellets but after talking to the coaches and staff for both the Packers and the Colts, there was a concern they might be able to remediate it," Baker said. "But they would have to do something underneath the surface."

Commissioner Roger Goodell has not released a statement on the cancellation.

The Hall of Fame said that those who bought tickets with credit cards will have the purchases voided. Those who purchased tickets with a check or cash will receive a refund check in the mail.

Those who bought tickets on the secondary market were urged to contact the ticket seller.

A refund form can be downloaded on the Hall of Fame website. Fans with questions may contact the Hall of Fame by phone at 844-4HOFTIX or by email at

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