KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Charren Smith literally had her bags packed and ready to go.
Her Chiefs jersey sat neatly on top of a few piles of clothes and other accessories set to go to Mexico City for the Chiefs game on Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams.
For both Charren and her husband, the trip brought all sorts of excitement.
“We’ve got the tickets, the airfare, hotel, airport transfers,” she told 41 Action News. “We usually take a trip over Thanksgiving week. This was perfect. It was huge. We’ve never gone to an away Chiefs game before.”
However, plans for the trip took a turn on Tuesday.
Excitement turned to disappointment and a bit of anger when the NFL announced that the game had been relocated to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions at Azteca Stadium, the planned site of the Monday Night Football matchup.
“I almost cried,” said Charren, who said she and her husband spent around $2,000 to make the trip for the game. “I was really bummed.”
“It was anything I could do to not throw my phone,” her husband added.
The couple were far from the only ones who questioned the decision to move the game.
Kansas City sports legend George Toma, the former longtime groundskeeper for the Royals and Chiefs, said he was shocked at the preparation for the game.
“It happened but it should have never happened,” he said. “Somebody fell asleep.”
Officials for the Monday Night Football game said concerts and soccer games at the stadium helped lead to poor conditions.
Toma has helped prepare the field for every Super Bowl matchup and knows problems can occur when getting set for a big game.
However, he told 41 Action News that things should have been handled much differently in Mexico City.
“We had games canceled where the Astroturf at the dome in Houston was so bad,” he said. “If it started going bad, something should have been done maybe months ago. They should have been ready in case something happened.”
Despite the game location being changed, Charren and her husband still plan to make the trip to Mexico City while cheering on the Chiefs.
“We’re going to find a cantina in Mexico City that is showing the game and enjoy it from there,” she said.