Arizona State’s annual preseason trip up to Camp Tontozona has been canceled, the school announced in a statement Friday.
The school was in the process of putting in a brand-new artificial turf field to help against rain in the Payson area. But according to ASU, rain is the reason the team won’t practice there this year.
“The presence of water has made it impossible to evenly construct the bottom layers of the field, therefore delaying the project,” the statement said.
Added Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson: “We have been monitoring this closely for the last several weeks and our student-athletes’ safety is our number one priority. Unfortunately, the amount of rain Payson has received impedes the crew’s ability to efficiently level the ground and proficiently complete the construction of the playing surface.”
In 2016, poor weather conditions caused the team to forego its final practice at Camp T and come back to Tempe early. This year, ASU was scheduled to head there on August 6 and practice through August 11.
Instead, the practices will take place in Tempe.
“This was a tough decision for our program, especially for me, who has yet to experience the mystique of Camp Tontozona,” ASU head coach Herm Edwards said. “But the health of our players comes first.
“I’m already anticipating the experience we will have next season and the new field will help enhance the amount of work the team can accomplish during our stay at Camp T.”