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Stadium Auction Reminds Me of a Day That Had Me Quaking in My Boots

Johnny Kincaid/Townsquare Media

They swung the gavel, and anything that wasn’t nailed down was available for auction at Roberts Stadium today. It’s gonna be sad to see it eventually go.

I was in Evansville earlier this week and drove by the venerable old structure. A couple of days in my past sprang to mind.

One was my first concert: Heart and John Cougar, 1982.

The other was a day in 1990 that may or may not have lived in infamy. You’d have to decide.

22 years ago this December, I traveled to Roberts Stadium to do a remote broadcast. The occasion was its grand re-opening after a multimillion dollar upgrade. I was to do my breaks from beneath the stadium, in that tunnel where the tour buses came in.

But that Saturday happened to fall on the same weekend that climatologist Iben Browning predicted a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault would hit this area. And I was going to be standing under who knows how many tons of concrete and steel. Not exactly the place you wanna be when the mother of all earthquakes happens.

I was young and impressionable enough to actually believe it was a strong possibility. What did I know? Browning had whipped smarter folks than me into a frenzy about this potential catastrophe. He had convinced a great many people we were long overdue. And there I was…beneath a stadium.

Well, needless to say, that earthquake never came to pass. But it’s a fun memory. And it’s one that came back to me upon learning of the auction that has likely emptied the old barn for good.

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