Protecting spectators during outdoor sporting events

Lightning safety at big events

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Sponsors of outdoor sporting events are looking again at their severe weather procedures.

Over the weekend a lightning strike sent six people to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after an lightning strike.

The dramatic video was a hot topic for event organizers on Monday. The Bruno Event Team believe their procedures should keep their spectators safe during any weather threat that may happen.

Play had been suspended during the PGA Tour Championship. Some spectators took refuge from the storm under a tree. A lightning strike sent six people to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Gene Hallman, with the Bruno Event Team, says their message to anyone is seek shelter. Don’t stay out on the course or under a tree.

Their weather alert system allows time for people to seek shelter before a weather suspension is issued. Hallman says they plan out the time so that people can seek shelter in buildings or their vehicles.

“The thing about being in this business for 28 years, the level of sophistication that is now on site at golf tournaments and outdoor sporting events is exponentially higher. You have on site meteorologists. You have very sophisticated weather systems with sophisticated lightning detection systems,” Hallman said.

Hallman also told WBRC Fox6 News they can text everyone in the immediate area to seek shelter. There are some homes nearby for the Bruno Event team which volunteer as safe havens.

Hallman said weather can be problems for stadiums, but they can send spectators inside to covered portions of the stadium for shelter.

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