Wednesday, September 17, 2003
As Isabel threatens, schedules are adjusted
ESPN.com news services
The threat of Hurricane Isabel has already affected sporting events in the mid-Atlantic
The Baltimore Orioles were the first baseball team to react,
shifting the starting time of their Thursday game against the
New York Yankees from 7:05 p.m. to 12:35 p.m.
The move was made in anticipation of the impending hurricane, after the Orioles consulted with Commissioner Bud Selig and Yankees officials.
The Philadelphia Phillies followed suit shortly thereafter Wednesday, switching the start time for Thursday's game against the Florida Marlins from 7:05 p.m. to 1:05 p.m.
"We are concerned that the possibility of significant rainfall
and high winds Thursday evening might pose a danger for fans
attending or going home after an evening game," said Phillies
vice president Mike Stiles. "We recognize a last minute change
in starting time creates a hardship for many fans planning to
attend Thursday night, but, given these circumstances, we
believe the best course is to play Thursday afternoon."
High winds and heavy rain have been forecast from South Carolina
to New England, depending on where Isabel finally moves ashore.
Isabel's maximum sustained wind speed was clocked late Tuesday
night at 110 miles per hour, down from 130 mph on Monday.
The National Weather Service issued a hurricane watch for the
coast between Little River Inlet, S.C., and
Chincoteague, Va. The governors of North Carolina and
Virginia have declared a state of emergency.
NASCAR officials on Tuesday canceled qualifying for the Winston
Cup and Busch Grand National series events this weekend at
Dover, Del. The MBNA America 400 and the Stacker 200 will
be run as scheduled, but Friday's pole qualifying for both races
at Dover International Speedway was called off.
The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch on
Tuesday for the area from the northern Virginia coast to New
Jersey, which includes Delaware Bay. The speedway is less than
30 miles from Delaware Bay.
Forecasts predict Isabel will come ashore early Thursday and
move through Delaware by Friday morning. The Busch North series
race scheduled for Friday was canceled.
The NFL's Baltimore Ravens traveled to San Diego on Wednesday
for their Sunday game against the San Diego Chargers.
"The uncertainties of being able to practice in what might be
significant winds and rain on Thursday and Friday, plus the
ability for our charter to leave on Friday afternoon as
originally scheduled, has caused us to adjust our schedules,"
said Ravens coach Brian Billick.
The hurricane threat also forced postponement of the NBA
champion San Antonio Spurs' visit Thursday to the White House.
The event is expected to be rescheduled.
Officials expect Thursday's game between Texas A&M and Virginia Tech to go on as planned in Blacksburg, Va. -- weather permitting.
Both teams are 2-0.
The No.8 Hokies haven't lost a game before October since
1996 -- a span of 26 consecutive victories.
The Aggies haven't won a road game against a Top Ten team since
they beat No.6 Penn State in 1979.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore, located in Princess
Anne, Md., on Wednesday postponed all weekend athletic
contests due to Isabel.
The Champions Tour is in Carry, N.C., for the SAS
Championship. The tournament is to begin Friday but may have to
be rescheduled. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo came through North
Carolina and forced a senior tournament to be canceled in