Hall of Fame president/executive director David Baker called the decision to cancel the game "difficult," but added that it was an "easy, ethical decision." He told ESPN's Lisa Salters the call was made after consulting with coaches Mike McCarthy and Chuck Pagano, as well as NFL COO Tod Leiweke.
According to Baker, teams will remain at the stadium, and the plan is to host a "fan fest" of sorts. He also said fans will be refunded their money.
In a joint statement, the NFL and NFL Players Association said that while they were "disappointed for our fans," player safety "is our primary concern."
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN's Darren Rovell that the league will work with the Packers and Colts to sort out their own financial reimbursement for a game not played.
Multiple sources told ESPN.com that both teams were worried about player safety as crews worked feverishly to spray solvent on the area around the midfield logo. The issue stemmed from the paint used on the logo and in the end zones.
One Packers player described it as "like cement" at midfield, where workers spent more than an hour trying to make it playable.
"The end zones are just as bad," the same player said about 90 minutes before the scheduled 8 p.m. ET kickoff.
"The paint on the logo won't allow a cleat to penetrate it," a Colts source said. "A definite hazard to player safety."
Colts owner Jim Irsay called it a "very unusual situation."
"Earlier in the day the league and the association looked at the field, and it was playable," Irsay said. "Then there was some painting that occurred."
Baker said he was made aware of the issue at 5:30 p.m. ET, at which point he came out to the field and met with representatives from both teams.
Said ESPN in a statement: "While disappointed, we support the NFL's decision as the safety of the players is paramount. We look forward to the debut of football in Los Angeles next Saturday night."
Baker said there were "still some guys who wanted to play," but that they respected the decision to cancel the game.
"The disappointing part is [fans] not getting a game from us," said Packers receiver Randall Cobb, though he echoed the need to prioritize player safety.
Sunday's game was to be the ninth event held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. This is not the same surface used in last year's Hall of Fame Game, in which Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham suffered a season-ending injury.
"We'll earn from this, without a doubt," Baker told Salters. "We're going to make sure this never happens again."