When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) dropped it’s bombshell report last year predicting increasingly more extreme weather, sports organizers had already gotten one step ahead. After a record setting number of weather-related catastrophes in 2011, a unprecedented number of game cancellations or delays forced sports organizers to either adapt, or lose money.
Record rainfall in the Northeast was the cause of 51 rainouts for the MLB – that’s 20 more than the 5-year average. Notre Dame had to evacuate 80,000 spectators from a football game after intense lightning storms in September. U.S. Open officials cited “adverse weather” – Hurricane Irene – for what players described as ‘slow’ courts.
Venue managers have started taking action on their own as well.
“We’re working on defining the amount of rain, lightning distance, and wind speed that should trigger evacuations…Finally, facilities are writing plans.” – Harold Hansen, director of life safety and security for the International Association of Venue Managers.