Weighing weather factors
During the days at Connie Mack Stadium, a blue flag would be hung near the main entrance to the ballpark when a game was called because of weather. Today, phone calls and the internet have replaced the old blue flag.
What goes into a decision regarding whether a game is called or played because of weather?
Our ultimate goal, and that of Major League Baseball, is to play the game as scheduled.
However, whenever a weather forecast could impact the playing of a game at Citizens Bank Park, a group of Phillies personnel meets to review the situation. That group includes upper management, baseball administration, head groundskeeper, ticket office, ballpark operations, media relations, broadcasting and events.
The Phillies subscribe to a computerized weather radar program as one resource. In addition, the club consults with several weather bureau services to gather as much information as possible. On occasion, the Phillies will also check with meteorologists at the Philadelphia TV stations.
Weather factors that are monitored include the severity of the forecast, the speed at which the storm/rain is moving and the projection by the hour for that particular day/evening. Forecasts for the next day often enter the picture.
Other factors include the opponent’s schedule and potential future dates when a game can be rescheduled. The rescheduling of games is cleared through Major League Baseball’s central office in New York.
The impact on the fans is also taken into consideration.
Once a game is called, both teams, umpires, fans, Phillies game day employees, ARAMARK staffers, ticket office personnel, both team’s broadcasters, the media and the Philadelphia Police Traffic Department are notified all at the same time by different department heads. An e-mail is also sent to every Phillies employee. Priority in the media goes to this website and key radio stations.
Generally, the state-of-the art playing field at Citizens Bank Park can absorb a good amount of rain which permits the playing of the game. But, Mother Nature sometimes can be overwhelming. Tonight was such a case.