alexa Large Venue Outdoor Events and Associated Lightning Risk

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Large Venue Outdoor Events and Associated Lightning Risk

Large venue events present inherent risks, both natural and manmade, for spectators and players alike. Lightning frequency and location is one of the most difficult hazards to forecast. In particular, lightning claims the lives of approximately 54 people in the United States every year. 45% of these lightning fatalities occur in open areas such as sports fields [1]. While some fatalities may occur in small isolated fields or stadiums, a lightning strike during an event at a large venue could be devastating on a much grander scale. College football stadiums, outdoor concerts, and NASCAR events comprise some of the most popular large venues in the Mid-South and Southeast, which are also areas prone to high numbers of lightning strikes [2]. In August of 2011 five individuals were killed when a stage collapsed at a Sugarland concert in Indiana. Officials commented that they were monitoring the weather and anticipated a storm around 9:15pm. However, the storm hit around 9:00pm and that the significant gust of wind struck the stage before an evacuation plan could be activated.
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