Multiple attempts to kick off abandoned as lightning storm hits Tri State Area
Unfortunately the New York Red Bulls weren’t able to dodge tropical storms two weeks in a row.
After two abandoned warm-ups and a three-hour delay where fans huddled in the concourses, Saturday’s scheduled match at Red Bull Arena between New York and Inter Miami was postponed to a later date due to persistent lightning in the area.
Following an afternoon deluge that left many areas of the metro area flooded, the skies appeared to clear in the early evening ahead of a planned 7pm kickoff. However, as the teams winded down their pre-match warmup, a customary shelter-in-place order was issued due to lightning strikes in the area. The teams left the pitch and fans were required to leave the seating bowl to wait for what appeared to be clearer weather on the horizon, not unlike the delays ahead of the team’s previous home match on July 8 against Philadelphia.
A brief attempt was even made to restart proceedings roughly an hour later with an abridged warmup and national anthem performance. But another sheltering order was issued by the stadium public address shortly before the teams huddled for kickoff. For the next two hours, fans and staff camped out in the corridors of the arena as rain fell and radar projections worsened.
Finally at around 10:25pm, MLS officials surrendered and the match was postponed for a to-be-determined date. While the league that played entire rounds in an empty Florida theme park last year did everything in their power to fulfill an already-condensed schedule, eventually this summer’s wet weather won out for the first postponement of a match at Red Bull Arena since the snowy 2012 playoff clash with DC United.
A postponement is never ideal but will surely sting for Gerhard Struber and his Red Bulls team that has been lamenting erratic fitness schedules and surely salivating a date with one of the league’s worst sides. While we will likely not know until later in the week when the game will be rescheduled, the club has already declared that tickets already purchased and used for Saturday’s match will be honored.