INGLEWOOD (CBSLA/AP) – The kickoff of the Monday Night Football matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders was delayed about 35 minutes because of lightning strikes throughout the region.
Drenching rain, thunder and lightning hit the L.A. area about one hour before game time, and chased players off the field during pregame warmups.
“They told us to take cover, but we were already covered,” football fan Chris Contreras told CBSLA.
“Taking the bolt thing a little too far,” said one ESPN commentator.
According to fans, the state-of-the art Oculus video board was also not working for a short period.
SoFi Stadium has a roof over it, but the stadium is classified as open-air due to the north side being open on the upper deck.
“I’ve never had an indoor stadium with a lightning delay. This is a bizarre night for all of us,” said Gruden, who added he didn’t receive an explanation for the delay.
“Yeah, I thought it was a dome, it feels like a dome in there , but there was no rain, thunder or lightning inside the stadium, it was clear sky in there,” fan Gerry Landia said.
Fans told CBSLA that once they were inside, they could not hear any of the thunder that took place outside the stadium. It was anything but clear outside, with lightning strikes closing beaches from Malibu down to San Pedro. In Long Beach, a lightning strike sparked tree fires.
Meanwhile, once the game got underway, the Chargers took care of business against their division rivals, handily defeating the Raiders 28-14.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)