CHARLOTTESVILLE – While the school does not keep record for such events, the University of Virginia can be reasonably certain that Saturday’s evacuation of Scott Stadium was the first for a regular-season football game.
That was the word from Dr. John Risher, a 103-year-old former Virginia football player who was in uniform the day Scott Stadium opened in 1931.
Risher and his Lynchburg sidekick, Paul Wisman, have been working in the UVa press box since the 1950s and were longtime spectators before that. Neither could remember a time when fans were asked to leave the stadium due to weather.
Others remembered that Scott Stadium was evacuated in 2005 for a Rolling Stones concert, but that was the result of a bomb threat.
As recently as 3 p.m. Saturday, on-line weather forecasts were showing zero possibility of precipitation in Charlottesville until 8 p.m., but players were sent to the locker room at 4:10 p.m. as the result of a severe lightning warning.
The suspension coincided with the end of the first quarter, which ended with the score 0-0. Brigham Young quarterback Taysom Hill had just scrambled for a 10-yard gain on a third-and-9, giving the Cougars a first down at the UVa 45-yard line.