The message appeared for only a matter of seconds on the Atlanta Braves scoreboard but it was enough to provoke panic among those gathered to watch a baseball game. Braves’ officials later said that the message appeared in error after there was an altercation in one of their restaurants.
Fans were angry that no one from the Braves management team took time to explain to the crowd what had happened, leaving many to wonder whether they should leave. Especially coming just one day after the bombing in Manchester after a concert by Ariana Grande.
The Atlanta Braves said an equipment malfunction was the source of confusion in when an emergency alarm sounded in the ballpark and a disturbing message was posted on the scoreboard.
With Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen batting against Braves pitcher R.A. Dickey on Tuesday, the alarm blared for about five seconds and an evacuation message flashed on ballpark screens.
It turned out to be a false alarm. An apparent altercation with fans in one of the ballpark restaurants caused the alarm to get sounded in SunTrust Park, which is new for this season.
‘As someone who struggles with anxiety and has two young children at home, it did make me panic a bit,’ Hayley Roberson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
When the alarm went off, Braves pitcher Dickey paused for a couple of seconds to make his next pitch, but the umpires did not stop play, and the game continued without interruption.
‘Several people around us stood up to leave, all kind of looking at each other to see if it was real. I just looked at my husband in confusion, not really sure what was going on,’ said Roberson.
Roberson said a small message came up on an outfield screen around 8.55pm, about half an hour after the false alarm, apologizing for the inconvenience, but that by the time her husband pointed it out to her, it was gone.