Severe weather outbreak delays Bears game at Soldier Field
November 17, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The severe weather developed at the same time that fans began filing into Soldier Field for Sunday's Bears game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Approximately 60,000 fans were at the game. Officials suspended game play at approximately 12:30 p.m. and began evacuating fans from the stands and into inner concourses. Bears fans packed into the Soldier Field concourse area after severe weather forced them from their seats.
"It was a little chaotic. There was no rhyme or reason to anything, and people were all over the place," said Michelle Enders, Bears fan.
Steve Klemp was seated in the highest part of the stands and says as the concourse filled up, he and others were left in the elements.
"Unfortunately they don't have enough gateways for us to get under. So we could not get down, and they kept basically announcing and yelling for us to go down. But we couldn't go down," said Steve Klemp, Bears fan.
As the storm passed overhead, the situation became dire.
"A lot of people had to use the bathrooms, so they were huddling by drains. And it was unfortunate," said Klemp.
But other fans in other parts of the stadium describe a less chaotic scene.
"It was very orderly, no trouble. We took cover as directed," said Barbara Watkins, Bears fan.
"They did instruct everyone to move out, move calmly. And they kept us updated I would say every 20, 25 minutes. They let us know what was going on," said Melvin Houston, Bears fan.
Before the game, Soldier Field officials said they had a plan in place if the weather turned severe, with three weather services and the city's Office of Emergency Management feeding them information.
"We removed a lot of safety hazards, temporary signage, temporary portable concession stands, so you can put people in areas even in high winds that they'll feel safe," said Tim Lefevour, general manager, Soldier Field.
The game resumed after a nearly two-hour delay, and as a second round of bad weather rolled in, fans streamed out before the end of the game.
"I was actually kind of surprised because we heard all the severe warnings all over the place. And they just let everybody in," said Enders.
The game resumed at 2:25 p.m. Shortly after 2 p.m., players were back on the field and fans were headed back to their seats.
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