Eagles-Falcons NFL season opener begins after weather delay

PHILADELPHIA — The NFL season opener between the Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta Falcons was delayed roughly 45 minutes by weather.

Fans at Lincoln Financial Field were told to evacuate the seating area as severe weather hit South Philly around 30 minutes before kickoff. Rain began pouring 10 minutes before the originally scheduled 8:20 ET start time, with lightning striking in the distance.

The NFL announced shortly before 8:20 that the new scheduled start time was 8:55. It was eventually pushed back to 9:05, at which point the game began. It can be viewed on the Yahoo Sports mobile app (IOS and Android).

(Photo: Henry Bushnell/Yahoo Sports)
(Photo: Henry Bushnell/Yahoo Sports)

“The National Weather Service is forecasting that our current weather pattern may contain some severe conditions, including lightning and gusty winds,” a message on the stadium jumbotrons read for.

“We ask that you do not remain in the open seating area. Take cover along the stadium concourses.

“Thank you for your quick response.”

Some fans didn’t initially heed the warning. But a big lightning flash nearby 10 minutes later sent most scurrying toward the concourse. A handful stayed in their seats, out in the open.

Around 8:30, fans began to file back into their seats. Pregame ceremonies, including the Eagles’ Super Bowl banner unveiling, began at 8:45.

The Eagles-Falcons game was not the first NFL season opener to have been delayed by weather. In 2013, the Ravens and Broncos started their curtain-raiser 33 minutes late due to lightning.