How large outdoor venues prepare for severe weather

Posted at 7:34 PM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 20:34:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Venues like Kauffman Stadium have severe weather plans in place to keep fans safe.

During the severe weather threat on Friday evening staff at Kauffman Stadium were monitoring the radar in case they needed to put that plan into motion.

The good news? Kauffman Stadium is one of the safest places to ride out severe weather in Kansas City.

"There aren't too many safer places in Kansas City than Kauffman stadium for the vast majority of people,” said Toby Cook, Vice President of Publicity for the Kansas City Royals.

However, when there is a chance of severe weather, many fans don’t take the risk. Instead, many stay home and watch the game on television.

A few fans tailgating on Friday said they trust this is a good place to be during a storm.

"I'm sure it'll be pretty safe because it's built of concrete and they probably have a plan in place,” said Makenna Irving who was tailgating before the game.

The stadium is made of concrete and the main level and field are both underground.

In the case of a tornado, fans in the upper decks would be brought to the main level and fans on the main level would be escorted down to underground tunnels.

"If we have a full stadium and a weather event is bearing down on us, we could get all 40,000 people into a safer location within 15 minutes,” said Cook.

But until fans are inside the stadium, their safety isn’t guaranteed.

"Out in the parking lot, there's not a whole lot we can do to keep people safe. We just tell people to use your best judgment. Once you get into the ballpark than we take your safety very seriously and we have a plan in place to keep you safe,” said Cook.

Other outdoor venues around Kansas City have similar policies.

When severe weather strikes during an event at Starlight Theater, guests are advised to seek shelter indoors or in their vehicles.

At Children’s Mercy Park there are extensive emergency evacuation plans in place to address severe weather.

If stadium guests are at risk during a tornado, seating areas and shelter guests are evacuated into several safe spaces located inside the venue.

Specific instructions are provided to guests via numerous communications channels, including game day staff, public address announcements, messaging on video monitors, social media posts and push notifications via the club mobile app.