Fans forced to evacuate Spartan Stadium in weather delay, game now underway
Update: Fans began re-entering the stadium before 1 p.m. following a weather delay that forced spectators to exit the stadium and return to their vehicles or designated campus locations. MSU’s contest versus South Florida started shortly after spectators re-entered the stadium.
After storms interrupted the opening night of football Spartan Stadium, fans again were asked to evacuate Spartan Stadium on Saturday due to a severe weather warning prior to the noon kickoff against South Florida.
With pockets of lightning in the forecast, MSU put an alert on the Spartan Stadium video boards advising fans to return to their vehicles, IM Sports-West or Wells Hall.
The evacuation was a precaution for the game to allow it to start and play through rather than face a stoppage along the way, as was the case against Western Michigan, per MSU.
MSU sports information director Ben Phlegar said kickoff is not expected until “at least 12:30 p.m.”
Despite being asked to evacuate, many members of the student section remained to try and wait out the potential severe weather — until a special guest encouraged them otherwise.
MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo came in front of the student section and pleaded with them to leave the stadium.
“If it was just the rain, I would sit right in the middle of your section and have a heck of a time,” Izzo said, citing the need for students to respect the university and football program by evacuating.
From there, the vast majority of the students filed out of Spartan Stadium to wait for the game to resume.