DENVER – A blizzard dumping more than a foot of snow along the Colorado Front Range on Saturday has put a damper on the busiest day in sports in the state, scuttling plans to use a bright orange soccer ball in the Rapids’ home opener against Philadelphia.
Major League Soccer postponed that game until Sunday, after the storm has moved out.
As of midday Saturday, all four big college basketball games in the state and the Denver Nuggets’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves were still on.
The University of Colorado issued a statement saying its 2:30 p.m. game against Oregon State would go on as scheduled but asked fans “to use extreme caution if they are still planning to attend,” noting that “travel in the Denver-Boulder area is not advised.”
In other men’s college basketball games, No. 12 New Mexico plays at Air Force, Colorado State goes for a record 23rd win against Nevada in Fort Collins and the University of Denver faces Louisiana Tech with a share of the Western Athletic Conference regular season title at stake.
The Nuggets were going for a record 13th straight home win, and Metro State was scheduled to play Fort Lewis in the title game of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament in downtown Denver.
All of this coming less than 24 hours after the Colorado Avalanche ended the Chicago Blackhawks’ streak of 24 straight games to open the season with at least a point. The Avalanche beat the Blackhawks 6-2 Friday night at the Pepsi Center before the snowstorm moved in, cancelling hundreds of flights at creating hazardous road conditions.
The Rapids had planned to embrace the blizzard and play in the snow, but their game was pushed back a day.
“We had hoped and planned to play our match as scheduled, but we cannot put staff, fans, and players from both teams at risk by asking them to travel or play in unsafe conditions,” Rapids president Tim Hinchey said.
The Rapids had said earlier that they planned to hold the match no matter the weather, using a bright orange ball with bright orange lines painted on the field. That plan changed when Adams County, with forecasts predicting 14 inches of snow and 40 mph winds, issued a travel advisory that people to travel only in case of emergencies.
“As always, the safety of our fans, staff and athletes is paramount, and the conditions in the Denver area preclude the game from being played today,” said MLS executive Nelson Rodriguez, who is in Colorado for the match.
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