3 Sports Stadiums That Could Have Prevented Severe Weather Damage

While the science is still up in the air as to whether or not sports arenas are more prone to severe weather than the outside world, the fact remains that having tens of thousands of people packed into a stadium at any given time is a recipe for disaster. To prevent injury and fatalities, many stadium managers have implemented outdoor weather stations and real time storm tracking software. The three arenas below, however, had to learn the hard way before taking Mother Nature seriously.

Georgia Dome

On March 14, 2008, the Men's SEC game between Alabama and Mississippi State was interrupted by an unexpected tornado. When players heard the "thump, thump, thump" sound coming from above, they thought the fans were stomping their feet. When fans heard the same noise, they thought a jet was flying overhead. Only few people knew what the source of the noise really was.

The local meteorologist knew that extreme weather was supposed to hit, but before heading to bed, he saw only two small cells on the radar. A real time storm tracker may not have prevented the disaster, but it could have prevented injury and possibly death.

Citizens Bank Park

In 2010, torrential rains, monsoon-like winds, golf-ball sized hail and dangerous lightning descended upon the Phillies stadium. The damage done was enough to keep the grounds crew busy for weeks, but property damage wasn't the manager's only concern. The storm hit in the bottom of the eighth of a game against the Cleveland Indians. No one was hurt, but it took a significant amount of hustle to make sure that was the case.

Arena Traktor

Outdoor weather stations don't just track rain, lightning and funnel clouds. They can also track meteor showers, which would have come in handy for the home of Russia's Traktor hockey club. In 2013, a meteor shower came raining down on the arena, sending more than 700 people to the hospital.

Sports arenas are just as prone to severe weather as anywhere else in the world, but the difference is, they usually contain mass amounts of people. When Mother Nature does exert her wrath over a stadium, the world experiences a huge blow. Stadiums can minimize fatalities and injuries by utilizing advanced warning systems and storm tracking technology. 

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