Ike Damages Reliant

Damage caused by Hurricane Ike was expected to lead to postponement of Monday night’s NFL game at Reliant Stadium between the visiting Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans.

The storm tore chunks off the stadium’s retractable roof and the damage can’t be fixed in time to host the game, said Shea Guinn, the president and general manager of Reliant Park.

“There is no way this stadium will host a game on Monday night,” Guinn said Saturday. “There are parts of the roof that are completely gone.”

The retractable roof on the $352 million venue rolls open in nine sections. Guinn said five of the sections were missing and large pieces of debris had fallen into the stadium.

“It’s hard to tell what came from where,” Guinn said.

An official announcement on the game was expected later Saturday, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

“It certainly appears that the stadium is not going to be able to be used on Monday night,” Aiello said.

The game, originally scheduled for Sunday, was moved to Monday earlier in the week as Ike approached the area.

The field is not scheduled to host another game until Oct. 5, but Guinn said he wasn’t sure when repairs could be completed. He said the stadium also sustained some water damage at street level.

Reliant Stadium sits next to the Astrodome. Guinn said Saturday that he had not yet inspected the dome for storm damage. The Texans’ air-supported practice “bubble” across the street was deflated on Thursday and was not damaged, Guinn said.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, the supervisor of the county’s hurricane cleanup efforts, planned to visit Reliant Stadium and survey the damage later Saturday.

If Monday’s game is postponed, it is unclear when it could be made up. The Texans’ off week is Oct. 26, while Baltimore’s is Nov. 6.

Three years ago, when the New Orleans Saints were displaced because of Hurricane Katrina, they played four of their scheduled home games at LSU’s Tiger Stadium, three in San Antonio and one in East Rutherford, N.J., against the New York Giants.