Giant “jumbotron” televisions suspended in the middle of basketball or hockey arenas (and even some football stadiums) are pretty commonplace these days, so there aren’t usually many worries expressed about them. But there’s definitely the potential for things to go wrong with giant masses suspended in the air, and the jumbotron at George Washington University’s basketball arena in Washington, D.C. provided an example of that Tuesday, as shown in this tweet from student television station GWTV:
BREAKING: The Charles E. Smith Center Jumbotron has collapsed onto the court. More information to come soon. pic.twitter.com/D9dIh3Ix3d
— GW Television (@GWTV) September 11, 2018
The university’s athletics department said in a Twitter statement that this happened during maintenance and no one was hurt:
While undergoing maintenance this afternoon, our scoreboard dropped unexpectedly from its lowered position just above the floor. There were no injuries. The scene is being assessed for damage.
— GW Sports (@GW_Sports) September 11, 2018
As per Sports Illustrated‘s Emily Caron, the 5,000-seat Smith Center is currently hosting the U.S. women’s basketball team, which faced Japan there Monday and was supposed to practice there again Wednesday. And while the arena as a whole was opened in 1975, it underwent a $43 million renovation recently (completed in 2011), which included jumbotron enhancements.
While this isn’t necessarily reason to get terrified about all jumbotrons, especially as it happened while the scoreboard was undergoing maintenance (not just while it was hanging), it’s certainly a cause for concern about this particular one. We’ll see if there are any further reports on what caused it to fall, and if any further information comes out about damage or repair costs. But this was definitely a frightening situation, and it’s good that no one was hurt from it.