WASHINGTON — Thirty minutes before kickoff Wednesday night, D.C. United’s brand-new stadium, Audi Field, flooded with water.
Skies released a torrential downpour on the nation’s capital, which delayed the first Atlantic Cup matchup between D.C. United and New York Red Bulls by about an hour and a half.
Fans at the young stadium took shelter in the main concourses, but could not fully escape the rain. Shortly after the storm began, water flooded the area under sections C1-C9, according to several event staff members not affiliated with the team.
“The water came through around 7:30 p.m. and lasted about thirty minutes,” Jamil Miller, a drink vender in the water-affected area, said. “As soon as the rain stopped, it all went away on its own.”
— Emily Olsen (@Em_Olsen59) July 25, 2018
The water rushed through concession stands, ticketing areas and steps to the locker rooms, according to stadium staff. Workers used small squeegees to clear the water off the steps. This is United’s second game at their new home. The club said before Wednesday match it was still “working out kinks,” according to a Washington Post article.
“This was an exceptional, extreme weather circumstance,” A team official told Pro Soccer USA Wednesday.
United fans on social media couldn’t help but draw connections to familiar scenes at their former stadium.
The club had a brush with extreme weather last season at RFK Stadium, where puddles were the norm. On Aug. 12 against Real Salt Lake, rain flooded the historic stadium. That match was stopped in the 29th minute and postponed until the next day. RSL defeated then-last place United 1-0.
— Emily Olsen (@Em_Olsen59) August 13, 2017
Although still in last place, United’s game Wednesday was only delayed an hour and twenty-seven minutes after the original start time of 8 p.m.
This isn’t the first bump in the road for Audi Field. On opening night, sideline reporter Lindsay Simpson was reportedly struck by a falling railing, according to the Washington City Paper.
“After every game, we evaluate all outcomes,” the team official said. “We will do the same after this incident of extreme inclement weather.”