Sept. 20, 2013
Three weeks ago, during the BYU game, Scott Stadium had to be evacuated after a massive storm with heavy lightning blew through Charlottesville. Because of that storm, UVa has made some updates to its emergency planning.
For the first time in recent memory, UVa had to evacuate the stadium during a regular season game due to dangerous weather, and it was a mess. UVa realized it had a big problem.
"Going through that process we recognized there are some things we can improve on," says Associate Athletic Director Jason Bauman.
Bauman says referees and UVa athletics communicated well about the storms with each other, but fans were left in the dark.
"We didn’t want to restart the game and then stop again. We were able to keep them informed of that but we weren’t able to keep the fans informed."
Starting with the VMI game, UVa now will now alert fans who sign up for it, with a text message about an emergency situation. Fans will also get word through Hoo-Vision on the scoreboard, and the public address system. The new system will also use Twitter, Facebook, and local radio.
Fans will notice new signs in the parking lots, with maps highlighting 13 severe weather shelters on grounds near the stadium.
"On game day they're identified with a symbol out in front of the building,” explains Bauman. “So as they walk by pregame they can make a mental note that this is an area I can go."
If you would like to get a text message in the event of an emergency at Scott Stadium, UVa says text "fbalerts" to 79516.