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Following Quake, NFL Assesses Facilities in Mexico City

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USA TODAY

 

After a devastating earthquake struck near Mexico City on Tuesday, the country is undergoing relief efforts to repair widespread damage.

With the impacts of the quake in mind, the NFL is taking precautionary measures to ensure safety and structural integrity of the local facilities in advance of the Nov. 19 contest between the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca.

"We have a full review being conducted today by the stadium," NFL executive vice president of international Mark Waller said Wednesday on a conference call.

"They have already announced the canceling of the soccer game that was due to be played (Wednesday). However, the initial information from that review is that the stadium did remarkably well and is in good shape, and that's a testament to the construction and also the safety devices that were put into that stadium."

The earthquake originated in Puebla, about 75 miles southeast of the Mexican capital. The 7.1-magnitude quake has caused the death of at least 217 people, according to the country's civil defense chief. Numerous buildings in Mexico City sustained significant damage. The NFL, however, disputed a post on Twitter claiming that Estadio Azteca suffered a breach of its structure.

"I'd also like to report that the social media posting yesterday showing a gap in the stadium was not caused by the earthquake," Waller continued. "The stadium was actually built with four large gaps in it to allow the stadium to move in the event of an earthquake. So that's a good example of social media gone wrong."

The league will continue to monitor the situation in Mexico.

"The initial reports are good, but our commitment to ownership is to give a full report back by tomorrow night, Thursday night," Waller said. "And that will cover the stadium, and that will cover the hotel facilities that the teams would be using, and also the airport, which some of you may know is now open and is almost fully operational."

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September 21, 2017
 
 
 

 

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