Several games, including ones involving the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami, may move from stadiums in Florida to other venues to escape the path of Hurricane Matthew.
The Category 4 Storm has already slammed Haiti with upwards to 145 mph winds causing flash floods and high waves. The National Hurricane Center notes that Hurricane Matthew may be a slightly less Catagory 3 storm by the time it makes landfall in the U.S., but it is still a big worry for sports fans.
The storm has caused several sports programs, both pro and college, to begin plans to move the upcoming weekend’s games if necessary.
“Obviously, right now we’re thinking about the people in Haiti,” Dolphins executive Tom Garfinkel told the Miami Herald. “There’s a lot of uncertainty around what will happen in the next few days and we’re watching it very closely. We’ll be prepared to react however we need to when we have more information.”
Dolphins coach Adam Gase added that his team is working to make plans.
“We have protocols that we have in place,” Gase told the media. “It’s just now kind of a wait-and-see for us.”
Officials are not worried about much damage to Hard Rock Stadium as the facility is purportedly built to withstand a Category 4 storm.
Pro sports teams are not alone with worries about the coming hurricane. The University of Miami also reported that plans are being made to address the coming storm but have thus far said that they intend to play in Florida as scheduled.
Florida isn’t the only state planning for the hurricane’s impact. UPI reports that Notre Dame officials are in talks with North Carolina State as well as Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford over the game this weekend. The teams are carefully watching the storm and will make a decision in the 24 hours before the game.
As for the bout between the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and the Georgia Bulldogs, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has already called for evacuations in her state and feels the game will not be played at home.
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp noted that he is working with the SEC on alternate plans if the storm hits South Carolina hard enough to impact the game. Coach Muschamp, though, stressed that the game is his most important concern.
“Our administration is handling all that through the SEC office,” Muschamp said. “All of my energy is game planning for the game. Whatever happens happens. I’m not the least bit worried about it.”
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