LSU, Florida game postponed
BATON ROUGE - LSU sports officials have announced that the LSU-Florida game, originally scheduled on Saturday at 11 a.m. (Central Time) has been postponed as Hurricane Matthew strengthens.
According to LSU's statement, the two universities and the SEC office will work to reschedule the game later in the season. The schools do not have a common open date to reschedule as of now. Officials say that even the possible movement of other games on the schools' schedules is a solution.
"We had a very productive phone call today with a great spirit of cooperation between the universities' presidents and athletics directors and it became clear that the University of Florida could neither host nor travel to a game this weekend considering the circumstances," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said.
Before deciding to postpone the game, LSU offered to either travel or host the game, however "it was determined that the likelihood of damage from the storm, lack of available emergency personnel and the uncertainty of the impact of the storm on people, facilities and travel necessitated a postponement," the statement read.
"The developments of the hurricane in the last 24 hours, the projected magnitude of its impact and the unknown aftermath of this storm have resulted in this decision to seek another date to play the LSU-Florida game. We have to be sensitive to the possible imminent disruption to the state of Florida and in particular the Gainesville and surrounding area."
Many events, attractions and flights are being canceled throughout central and south Florida. Universal Studios properties in Orlando will close early Thursday and remain closed Friday. Parks are scheduled to open Saturday. SeaWorld Orlando's website says the park will be open at 10 a.m. and close at 2 p.m. on Thursday. It will be closed on Friday and currently plans to reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday. Disney World reported officials are still monitoring conditions.
In a note on its website, officials at Orlando International Airport said they plan to being "reducing flights into Orlando and altering schedules starting Thursday, lasting through Friday." They advised travelers to contact individual airlines for flight plans. The Jacksonville International Airport website also advises travelers to check flight status with the airlines before heading to the airport.
Gainesville is about 115 miles north of Orlando and less than 100 miles from the coast, where Matthew is forecast to slide along the beach.
All Walt Disney World parks will be closed Friday, the company announed Thursday morning.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm's maximum sustained winds had strengthened to 140 mph as of late Thursday morning and were expected to maintain their strength as the storm approaches the Florida coast. About 1.5 million people in Florida have been ordered to evacuate.
Click HERE for the WBRZ hurricane forecast center.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz