Fans moved into lower-level seating

Updated: October 29, 2005, 2:04 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- A few thousand fans were moved from the upper deck of Miami's storm-ravaged Orange Bowl to vacant lower-level seating during the second quarter of Saturday's game against North Carolina as a safety precaution.

"We had gusts of winds in the Orange Bowl over 30 miles per hour out of the north, and we began to worry a little bit about the light towers and the fixtures," Miami athletic director Paul Dee said. "They had been certified, but we wanted to be sure. There wasn't any danger."

The 68-year-old structure sustained some damage when Hurricane Wilma raged across South Florida on Monday. Some sections of the upper deck were already cordoned off because of the Category 3 storm, but city officials deemed the facility structurally safe after Wilma passed through.

Because numerous open seats were available in the lower bowl, police and security workers ushered the upper-level fans downstairs.

Wilma's winds ripped some large bulbs from the stadium's light towers, toppled a chain-link fence and destroyed an auxiliary radio booth.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press