BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) -The Indiana University men’s basketball game against Iowa was postponed Tuesday night after a metal plate fell from the ceiling earlier in the afternoon.
Athletic Director Fred Glass said the renovation team for Assembly Hall had just met, around 2:30 p.m., when they were called to the bowl area.
A metal plate, roughly eight feet by 14 inches wide, fell onto two or three seats in Section F.
Officials made the decision at that point to postpone the men’s basketball game while they determined what had happened.
Engineers on site say the situation was limited to the facing of some steel plating, along one corner of Assembly Hall. They say the snow and ice we’ve seen all winter, as it started melting, grew heavier, caused the ice to settle in the lowest point along the curve, popping off that steel plate.
They had cordoned off all four corners of Assembly Hall Tuesday evening.
“This glass is half full, because no one got hurt. All this other stuff is manageable, and thank god we’re not here talking about a really, really serious situation,” said IU Athletic Director Fred Glass. He said he was glad this happened when it did, and not later in the evening during that basketball game set for Tuesday night.
“If it had to happen, I’m glad it happened the way it did. We’re taking it extremely seriously,” Glass added. “The safety of our fans, players, and visitors is paramount in our mind, and everything else takes a backseat to that.”
The roof of Assembly Hall, which was replaced about three years ago, goes through a regular inspections every other year. The last one was in late summer, early fall.
Officials say this situation doesn’t appear to be a long term problem, rather a traumatic event from the snow and ice compiling there.
Engineers say the situation is isolated, so they planned to allow the women’s basketball team to play Wednesday, with limited seating.
Officials say the four corners will be cordoned off until engineers can look more closely at the steel plates Wednesday morning, using equipment from Indianapolis to help them get up to physically see the steel plates. They say the plates along the ceiling are ornamental only.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse extended an offer to have the men’s game played there, but officials decided it wouldn’t logistically work.
The news there would be no game Tuesday night came as a huge disappointment to two fans we found. Ashley Jackson said they’d driven from Arkansas, to Evansville, to Bloomington, to see the game. An 11 hour trip later, they learned there would be no game Tuesday.
“I am glad no one was there, and no one got hurt, that is very fortunate,” said Jackson. “I will take a cancelled game over anybody getting hurt.”
As of Tuesday night, officials were not sure when the men’s game will be rescheduled.
Officials should know more Wednesday when engineers examine the building closer.