7 Sporting Events Interrupted by National Disasters

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7 Sporting Events Interrupted by National Disasters

In sports, stopping a sporting event because of rain is no big surprise. Baseball games, tennis matches, and golf tournaments, just to name a few, can all be interrupted by bad weather. Sports events can get even more interesting when they are interrupted by natural disasters.

For anyone who remembers the 1989 World Series in San Francisco, it won’t come as any surprise to learn that natural disasters and bad weather can and will have a huge impact. With this in mind, let’s look at seven sporting events interrupted by natural disasters and bad weather.

San Francisco Earthquake

Candlestick Park was the location of the 1989 World Series, struck by an earthquake.
©"Candlestick Park Tour" by rulenumberone2 is licensed under BY 2.0. - Original / License
  • When: October 17, 1989
  • Event: World Series

Arguably, the biggest event interrupted by a natural disaster was game three of the World Series. The San Francisco Giants were playing against the Oakland Athletics in San Francisco. Just as the two teams started batting practice, a 6.9 Richter-scale earthquake struck the area. It took 11 days of recovery before the series was resumed. 

Hurricane Katrina

The Louisiana Superdome became an evacuation center during Hurricane Katrina.
  • When: August 2005
  • Event: Various sporting events

One of the worst natural disasters in Louisiana and American history, Hurricane Katrina greatly affected the Louisiana Superdome. Home to the New Orleans Saints and Tulane University sports, the stadium became a shelter for displaced residents. As a result of the storm, the Saints could not play any home games during the entirety of the 2005 NFL season. 

California Wildfires

California Wildfires were a big issue in 2003, leading to NFL teams moving their games.
©iStock.com/David Aughenbaugh
  • When: October 2003
  • Event: NFL Week 8

Largely remembered as the Cedar Fire, one of the largest wildfires in California history affected the San Diego Chargers NFL schedule. The team’s stadium was used as an evacuation site, so the Chargers had to play their week 8 “home” game against the Miami Dolphins in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Pontiac Silverdome

The roof of the Pontiac Silverdome collapsed from too much snow in 1985.
©"Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan" by Ken Lund is licensed under BY-SA 2.0. - Original / License
  • When: March 4, 1985
  • Event: NFL Practice and NBA games

The Pontiac Silverdome was a legendary NFL stadium in the Detroit area, home to the Detroit Lions and Pistons. In 1985, due to heavy snowfall, the roof collapsed when the Lions were on the field practicing. As a result, the Pistons moved to a now-closed arena to finish their season. 

Hurricane Ivan

The size and scale of Hurricane Ivan forced the Florida Marlins to move their baseball games.
©"Hurricane Ivan as Observed by AIRS 2004" by Atmospheric Infrared Sounder is licensed under BY 2.0. - Original / License
  • When: September 16, 2004
  • Event: Baseball games

When Hurricane Ivan pummeled Florida in September 2004, Major League Baseball had to move the Florida Marlins games. Its series against the Montreal Expos was moved up to make sure both teams had a chance to play with the game being played in Chicago. A three-game series against the Chicago Cubs was also postponed. 

Metrodome Collapse

The collapse of the Metrodome roof in 2010 caused a major issue for Vikings football games.
©"Metrodome After Blizzard" by Joe Bielawa is licensed under BY 2.0. - Original / License
  • When: December 12, 2010
  • Event: NFL Games

A snowstorm that brought significant snow to Minneapolis ultimately collapsed the roof of the Metrodome, where the Minnesota Vikings played. The snow even caused the Vikings’ game against the New York Giants to be moved to Detroit. One week later, the Vikings game against the Chicago Bears was moved to the University of Minnesota. 

Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida and is one of the deadliest storms in modern history.
  • When: September 1992
  • Event: Miami Dolphins games

One of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the United States, Hurricane Andrew caused billions of dollars in damage across South Florida in 1992. As a result, the New England Patriots’ season-opening game against the Miami Dolphins had to be postponed for over a month. 

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