Exploding Russian Meteor Damages KHL Arena, Threatens Playoffs
You’ve probably heard about this giant meteorite that exploded in Russia and injured over 1,000 people. The Washington Post has compiled a handful of amateur videos, and they’re frightening and spectacular. But our interest is in the KHL and in particular Traktor Sport Palace, the home arena of Traktor Chelyabinsk. The meteorite and its subsequent secondary explosions apparently damaged the arena, throwing into flux Traktor’s upcoming playoff schedule. Though they don’t play at home until Februrary 21st, an evaluation of the arena’s safety will take place over the weekend, followed by a report on Monday. Youth hockey games to be played today and tomorrow, however, have been postponed.
A statement from the KHL lays out the details in full:
“The meteor shower which struck Chelyabinsk and its environs has also caused some disruption to the hockey season schedule. The emergency services have confirmed that the walls of the Arena Traktor were among those structures to suffer damage, and therefore large-scale events at the stadium have been postponed. The sporting facilities will undergo an inspection by experts to assess the readiness of the arena to return to full operational use.
The results of the assessment will be made public on Monday, after which it will become clear whether the Chelyabinsk club can stage the first games of the play-offs. The knockout stages of the Gagarin Cup get underway on Wednesday, and as Traktor is already assured of a top four place in the Eastern conference, the team is due to start the play-offs with home games on the 21st and 22nd of February.
At this time, the meteor shower has not affected Traktor’s schedule, as the Chelyabinsk men finish their regular season campaign with a trip on the road to Magnitogorsk on Sunday. However, three events -today’s and tomorrow’s Youth Hockey League games between Belye Medvedi of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk’s Stalnye Lisy and Saturday’s planned opening of the Traktor’s museum – have had to be postponed.”
We hope the Russians can get their hockey back soon, because they really do love it.
And just because, here’s one of those crazy amateur videos of the meteorite hurtling through the sky.