The Saints and Chargers are set to do battle in a Week 2 preseason contest on Sunday, and it doesn’t seem like inclement weather in Los Angeles will put a stop to that.
ESPN’s Katherine Terrell reported on Saturday that the Saints vs. Chargers game at SoFi Stadium “will be played as originally scheduled” even as Hurricane Hilary threatens to make landfall in Southern California.
The decision to play the contest is notable, as several other leagues have postponed games because of the tropical storm. That includes MLB — which moved Dodgers, Padres and Angels home games from Sunday to Saturday — and MLS, which moved the LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake game to Oct. 14. and the LAFC-Colorado Rapids game to Wednesday.
While some will point out that SoFi Stadium has a roof on it, the venue actually qualifies as an open-air stadium based on the NFL’s criteria. This is because SoFi Stadium has openings on three sides of the roof that allow the ocean breeze to blow through the stadium.
So, the weather could have an impact on the contest. Or at the very least, it could end up impacting whether players, fans and employees are able to safely get to the stadium.
Even still, the NFL game is expected to be played — at least for now — as a tropical storm makes landfall in California for the first time since Sept. 25, 1939.
Here are the latest updates for the Saints vs. Chargers contest and whether it will be played as originally scheduled.
Saints vs. Chargers weather updates
(All times Eastern.)
Sunday, Aug. 20
4:13 p.m. — Just under three hours before the game, there is a light rain falling, as reported by Sean Fazende of Fox 8.
— Sean FazendeFOX8 (@SeanFazendeFOX8) August 20, 2023
The heavier rain and wind is expected to hit at around 4 p.m. local time, or just about when the game is supposed to start, per The Sporting Tribune.
3 p.m. — There is reportedly a flash flood warning in effect for Inglewood, Calif. where the Chargers stadium is located. Even so, the Saints vs. Chargers game is still on for the moment.
The Chargers-Saints preseason game is still scheduled to kickoff in four hours at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Meanwhile residents in Inglewood (and other areas of Los Angeles County) just got this flash flood warning on their phones, which urged people to not attempt to travel. pic.twitter.com/3e8k4o0M2y
— The Sporting Tribune (@SportingTrib) August 20, 2023
Saturday, Aug. 19
5:22 p.m. — According to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell, the Saints and Chargers are still expected to play at SoFi Stadium on Sunday night. The contest is set to kick off at 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 18
3:33 p.m. — Saints coach Dennis Allen is asked about the possibility of a weather-related postponement or cancellation of Sunday’s preseason game. He announces that the teams will be speaking to the NFL on a conference call to determine the status of the game.
“Obviously, with the weather, the most important thing is that everybody stays safe,” Allen said. “So whatever it takes for everybody to stay safe, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) August 18, 2023
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Los Angeles weather forecast
According to Weather.com, Los Angeles is facing a 100 percent chance of rain on Sunday. In fact, there is “potential for flooding rains” and at least 1 to 2 inches of rain are expected throughout the day with another possible inch of rain coming overnight as well.
Currently, three warnings are in effect for Los Angeles. That includes a Tropical Storm Warning, a Tropical Weather Statement and a Flood Watch.
The Tropical Storm Warning outlines that there could be widespread impacts of Hurricane Hilary making landfall. This potentially includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes
- Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.
- Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted.
- Some fences and roadway signs blown over.
- A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places.
- Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways.
- Scattered power and communications outages.
So, suffice to stay that despite the NFL planning to play the game, the league, Chargers and Saints will all be watching the weather in California closely.