- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) The Baltimore-Philadelphia preseason game was officially canceled yesterday, a day after it was postponed because of an unplayable field at Veterans Stadium.

The decision was made by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue after a conference call with owner Jeff Lurie and president Joe Banner of the Eagles and president David Modell of the Ravens.

The game was called off after officials, coaches and players from both teams thought uneven cutouts in the field could affect players' footing.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the schedule provided little room for rescheduling the game, the first preseason contest for both. Each has a game Saturday and again next Thursday.

Schedules are also affected by schedules for the two baseball teams from the cities the Phillies share the stadium with the Eagles and the Ravens are next door to the Orioles' Camden Yards.

The Eagles announced they will offer refunds to an estimated 45,000 fans who expected to see the game.

The team said season-ticket holders will automatically receive a refund of one-tenth of the cost of the ticket. Those checks will be mailed in the coming weeks.

Fans who purchased tickets at the Eagles box office or through Ticketmaster must take their ticket stubs to the point of purchase in order to get a refund.

Yesterday, red-faced city officials tried to determine what exactly went wrong and vowed to have the turf in shape for the rest of the Eagles' season.

An engineering firm inspected the field for several hours yesterday and was supposed to provide recommendations to the city, which owns the much-maligned Vet.

"It is our expectation and our desire to have this stadium in a suitable playing condition for the remainder of this season," said Joe Martz, the city's managing director.


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