Photo: John Woods, AP
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The Oakland Raiders and the Green Bay Packers played an abomination of a preseason game in Winnipeg Thursday night, and one local newspaper did not hold back.
The front page of Friday morning’s Winnipeg Sun featured the headline “CROWD GOES MILD” with an image of the sea of empty seats at IG Field.
The NFL and IG Field were unable to fill the stadium due to outrageously high ticket prices, which were still high even after a massive reduction last week. The top lower-level seats were going for about $350 as of Thursday morning, and the cheapest seats were listed for $71.
The Sun also poked fun at the awful product on the field. The front page of the sports section featured the incredibly Canadian subhead, “If you thought the Raiders-Packers exhibition game at IG Field couldn’t be any more of a gong show, boy, were you wrong.”
The “gong show” was created by the poor field conditions that forced the teams to play on an 80-yard field. Both the Raiders and the Packers decided to sit all of their starters as well.
To further rub it in to the NFL, the Sun advertised a Canadian Football League game with the phrase, “How about some real football?”
And they weren’t done.
Columnist Paul Friesen pulled no punches in his game recap, writing, “From the starters being scratched to the unusable end zones and the 80-yard field, let’s hope last night’s ‘once in a lifetime’ NFL experience is just that.”
It’s probably safe to assume the NFL won’t be back in Winnipeg anytime soon.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/raiders/article/Raiders-Packers-Winnipeg-newspaper-80-yard-field-14373499.php.