The wrong paint was applied to the Hall of Fame logo at midfield and in the end zones of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium at Canton, Ohio. The paint melted, and there was concern players' cleats would get stuck in the resulting mire.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association issued a joint statement that read in part, "We are very disappointed for our fans, but player safety is our primary concern, and as a result, we could not play an NFL game on this field tonight."
Hall of Fame president/executive director David Baker told ESPN, "This is a very, very difficult decision for us today, but we think it's the only decision that can be made."
Baker said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, Colts coach Chuck Pagano and NFL chief operating officer Tod Leiweke were consulted before the choice was made to cancel the game.
Both teams were cleared off the field at 6:30 p.m. CDT, approximately 90 minutes before the scheduled start of the first NFL preseason game of the season. The contest was canceled about 30 minutes later.
Baker told NFL Media, "We think we could make it playable, that it might be playable now, but if there is any concern, anything in the minds of players, we want to err on the side of player safety.
"This is the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You've heard me many, many times talk about our values of commitment, integrity, courage, respect, and excellence. If we don't have that integrity to respect our players and respect their safety, then we shouldn't be doing this job."
Earlier, McCarthy and Pagano were watching as workers attempted to clear thousands of rubber pellets off the field.
"We did the right thing in line with player safety," McCarthy said. "It's disappointing for the team to come down here and play; very disappointing for our fans. It was just incredible to see the green and gold."
Colts owner Jim Irsay told ESPN, "It was something that shouldn't have occurred. We're going to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Irsay added that he wanted to know "why there was incompetence."
The field was used for a Tim McGraw concert on Friday and for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Saturday night. The field was covered during Saturday's festivities.
The field in Canton was highly criticized in last year's contest as well. Pittsburgh kicker Shaun Suisham tore the ACL in his non-kicking knee during the contest and cited the conditions as the reason for his injury that ultimately led to his release by the Steelers.
The cancellation of the game didn't prevent appearances by the Hall of Fame's Class of 2016 and a performance by singer Lee Greenwood for the Sunday crowd.