GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Pirate Nation will have to wait another day for the start of the 2018 ECU football season.
Lightning and heavy rain postponed ECU's originally scheduled 6 p.m. kickoff against North Carolina A&T on Saturday.
The game will now be played on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The first lightning delay occurred around 5:30 p.m. For safety reasons, fans were forced to leave Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and head to their car or Minges Coliseum.
After a lengthy delay, a new start time was set for 7:47 p.m. and fans were allowed back into the stadium. The National Anthem played, and the Pirates stormed onto the field, but then another weather delay ensued.
(COURTESY OF ECU ATHLETICS)
Inclement weather, which included excessive lightning, caused ECU’s opener against North Carolina A&T to be postponed until 3:30 p.m. Sunday on Bagwell Field inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
ECU officials announced that all tickets will be honored for Sunday’s game.
All systems were go Saturday for the start of ECU’s 2018 season, but the weather put an unexpected kink in those plans. At 5:36 p.m., it was announced that the start of the scheduled 6 p.m. game would be delayed because of threatening weather in the immediate area. There was a mandatory evacuation of the stadium.
The all-clear horn was given at 7:17 p.m., and the 30-minute countdown to kickoff was on. Or so everyone thought. At 7:44 p.m., just a few minutes before the rescheduled start, after the band performed the National Anthem and both teams had gone to their sideline, another mandatory evacuation was announced as team captains were headed to midfield for the coin toss.
Lightning frequently lit up the sky for the next 35 minutes, and finally, at 8:21 p.m., the rain came. It got heavier and heavier as a storm passed loudly over the stadium.
Shortly after 9 p.m., the heaviest of the rain started to come through. At 9:08 p.m., the postponement was announced.