WHEN SEVERE WEATHER THREATENS INDOOR STADIUMS
WEDNESDAY // APRIL 25, 2018
Indoor venues are meant to eliminate concerns about weather conditions having impact on any event. Right?
However, last week the major northeastern spring blizzards tested this belief when ice chunks impaled the roof of the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. This incident actually caused the Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals to postpone their major league baseball game after ice and insulation falling from the CN Tower literally crashed onto the field, Pollstar reported.
Just how bad was the damage? According to Andrew Miller, the Blue Jays’ executive vice president of business operations, the ice tore a 3’x5’ hole in the PVC roof over right field which sent the ice and pieces of insulation onto the turf, Pollstar reported.
In fact, this marks the very first time ice has hit the steel deck supporting the roof of the Rogers Centre and should be thankful the damage didn’t cause a “progressive collapse,” CTV News reported.
Furthermore, the Rogers Centre actually had the first retractable stadium roof in North America, back when it opened in 1989. The original structural engineer, Michael Allen, told CTV News the hole was actually relatively minor and that they actually ran computer modeling of a scenario where something falling from the sky would hit the roof. Allen and his team concluded that even a 9-meter diameter hole through a critical part of the roof would still deem the roof safe.
In regards to sports and events, this was the first weather-related postponement at this venue since 2001, when two panels of the stadium’s moving roof collided.
Another effect of the major northeastern spring blizzard occurred on Saturday, April 14. Heavy rains caused the Air Canada Centre to leak during Game 1, but thankfully only had a short delay, Larry Brown Sports reported.
On January 8, 2018, a leak went through the roof of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium about two hours before scheduled kickoff at the national Championship game. College football reporter Jeff Sentell tweeted that the location of the drip occurred around the 25-yard line between the hashes.”
Other users offered their input about the stadium leakage, such as CFB writer/analyst Barrett Sallee below:
So what does it take for a venue to be perfectly constructed against these kinds of conditions? Just eight days before Minneapolis’s U.S. Bank Stadium - home to Super Bowl 52 - first opened in July 2016, “extreme weather caused some zinc panels on the exterior of the building to partially disengage,” SB Nation reported.
While the panels did not need replacing, they sure could cause leaks during a snowstorm. That is until about five months later, severe winds ripped a panel off of the stadium, resulting in the installation of 4,000 fasteners - a project that took ten months to complete.
So the answer to a perfect venue that can withstand severe weather such as Minneapolis could be months of repairs, renovations and about $1.1 billion. Go figure!
As for the Rogers Centre? Repairs to the hole were said to have begun the same week, as you can see in the below video of fearless repairmen.