< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >
Leaky Coliseum roof halts Seattle SuperSonics-Phoenix Suns game, the first National Basketball Association contest called on account of rain, on January 6, 1986.
HistoryLink.org Essay 7860
: Printer-Friendly Format
On January 6, 1986, a scheduled game between the Seattle SuperSonics and the Phoenix Suns in the Coliseum is cancelled on account of rain leaking through the arena roof, the first ever "rain out" for the National Basketball Association.
The Sonics first competed in the Coliseum in 1966, but a poorly constructed roof allowed rain to wet the floor during storms. On March 5, 1972, NBA scorer Spencer Haywood slipped on a rain puddle in the leaky room and injured his knee. He sued Seattle and the NBA and collected $55,000. The team moved to the Kingdome in 1980, but the City lured it back to the Coliseum in 1986.
On January 6, play against the Suns was delayed nine minutes as ball boys used towels to stay ahead of the leaks. Early second quarter, Phoenix led Seattle 35-24 and the roof continued leaking. Sonics coach Bernie Bickerstaff called a timeout after two players slipped and fell. Some of the 5,548 fans opened their umbrellas in the stands and others chanted, "Halfcourt! Halfcourt!" (Nelson). After a 55-minute delay, referee Mike Mathis called the game.
It was the first time in NBA history that a game had been called on account of rain. As of July 2006, it has not occurred since.
"The Soggy Sonics -- An Indoor Rainout," editorial, The Seattle Times, January 7, 1986, p A-6; Glenn Nelson, "Roof Reigns in First NBA `Rainout' -- Suns Will Lead by 11 When Play Resumes," Ibid., January 6, 1986, p. D-1; Elredge McCready, "So Long, Kingdome," Ibid., April 6, 1985, p. C-1.
Note: The date of this event was corrected on February 13, 2013.
Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay
Browse to Next Essay >
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You