The air-conditioning snafu during Thursday night's Heat-Spurs NBA Finals game, in which the court temperature rose above 90 degrees, causing a dehydrated LeBron James to leave the floor due to leg cramps,was just the latest example in professional sports of a stadium malfunction causing mayhem.
Here’s a list of seven of the strangest stadium breakdowns in sports history.
The Lights Go Out At The Superdome
In 2013, Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers suffered a 34-minute delay due to a partial power outage at the Superdome. The Twittersphere exploded with social media users sending out a then-record 24.1 million tweets during the game. Ultimately, the Ravens won the game 34-31, but that didn’t stop linebacker Terrell Suggs from suggesting that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had somehow orchestrated the blackout.
Malfunctioning Zamboni Turns Ice Into Horror Show
In 2008, a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks was delayed after a malfunctioning Zamboni leaked blood-red hydraulic fuel all over the ice. The scene looked more like a horror movie than a hockey game, but no one was actually hurt.
Sharks Aren’t Meant To Fly
In 1999, a San Jose Sharks game was delayed when a stunt involving the team’s mascot, SJ Sharkie, went wrong. The mascot got stuck in the rafters while trying to rappel down to the ice.
The Metrodome’s Roof Caves In
In December 2010, a huge snowstorm piled tons of snow atop the Metrodome, home to the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Before long, the stadium’s aging roof “deflated” or collapsed, pouring snow all over the football field. Luckily, the incident didn’t occur while the stadium was occupied.
Sonics Fans Cover Their Ears
Fans at the Seattle SuperSonics’ 2003 home opener endured a cringe-worthy delay when the arena’s substitution horn turned on -- and wouldn’t turn back off. For 15 minutes, the horn blared through the confines of the Seattle Center until officials managed to fix the problem by turning off a scoreboard.
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Fireworks Flood The Alamodome
Fans at a 1994 matchup between the Spurs and Golden State Warriors took an unexpected shower when a pre-game fireworks show activated the Alamodome’s sprinkler system, shooting torrents of water at onlookers. The game was delayed for 50 minutes while workers cleaned up the mess.
“Lights Out At The Garden”
During Game 4 of the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals, the Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers were tied 3-3 in the second period when the lights went out at the Boston Garden. The blackout lasted 30 minutes, and stadium officials were forced to evacuate the 14,451 fans from the building. Eventually, NHL officials decided to treat the game as if it had never happened. The Oilers went on to win the series, 4-0.