By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Catastrophic flooding in Houston — and the threat of more rain to come as Hurricane Harvey continues to lash Texas — will “almost certainly” force LSU’s season opener against BYU to be moved out of NRG Stadium, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said through a school spokesman Sunday afternoon.
More than two feet of rain have already fallen in the Houston area and forecasts predict much more is on the way. NRG Park, which houses NRG Stadium, is being used as an emergency operations center.
“Almost certainly it will not be played in Houston. He has not been told that officially, but he is almost certain the game will not be able to be played in Houston on Saturday,” Bill Franques, an athletic department spokesman, said Sunday night on “LSU 60” citing a conversation with Alleva.
“It most certainly will be moved to another venue. What venue that will be, he wasn’t able to say yet. He knows game officials have been in contact with several different venues and that a decision will be made as soon as possible, naturally as early in the week as possible so that the teams, management officials and everyone, including ESPN, can be prepared for wherever the game may be played.”
Multiple media reports have named Tiger Stadium and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans as possible venues. BYU athletic department policy prohibits any contests being scheduled for Sunday.
“All parties involved are working on a solution to our scheduled game with LSU this weekend,” BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe wrote in a tweet earlier Sunday. “We will announce plans when final.”
This would be the third year in a row that weather impacted an LSU football game.
Two years ago, lighting cancelled LSU’s season opener against McNeese State at Tiger Stadium. Later that season, LSU hosted South Carolina after the game was relocated due to torrential flooding in Columbia.
Hurricane Matthew postponed LSU’s game at Florida last October, and after much posturing and tense negotiation, it was relocated to Baton Rouge last November. That forced LSU to cancel its game against South Alabama.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.