6 fans hospitalized due to heat at football game

Mizzou Athletics says number could have been higher.
Fans celebrate the opening day of Missouri football season by tailgating outside Memorial Stadium Aug. 31, 2013. Police responded to 46 medical incidents, many of them heat related, on game day and six people were hospitalized due to heat as temperatures raced into triple digits. Officers even responded to calls even hours before fans were allowed inside the stadium.

The MU Police Department responded to 46 medical emergencies at Faurot Field on Saturday when the Tigers defeated Murray State, department spokesman Brian Weimer said.

The majority of those were heat-related and six people were hospitalized, he said.

Forty-six medical emergencies on one game day is more than usual, Weimer said. By comparison, MUPD responded to a total of 109 calls of this type last season.

The department’s incident log said officers responded to medical emergencies at the stadium hours before gates opened to fans.

Mizzou Athletics spokesman Chad Moller said the number of heat-related incidents is lower than expected. The EMT staff felt the cooling stations and extra hydration efforts played a big role in keeping the numbers down, Moller said.

Days before the game, Mizzou Athletics announced that fans would be allowed to enter the stadium with one factory-sealed bottle of water, and misting stations and complimentary bags of ice would be available at the game.

On game day, concession stands were stocked with more water than usual, athletics officials said, and large coolers of water were spaced around the stadium’s concourse.

"People could have drank more water and stayed a little more hydrated," Weimer said.

Temperatures reached 100 degrees with an actual heat index of 107 by 3 p.m., according to National Weather Service measurements.

Faurot Field will have extra bottled water in concession stands this upcoming Saturday as well as athletics warned fans with another news release on Thursday. Courtesy cups of ice will be distributed inside the stadium once again and water jugs will also be spread throughout the east and west concourse for fans needing hydration.

Fans will catch a break this weekend with temperatures projected to 93 degrees when the Tigers face Toledo. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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