In what has to be an historic first, a professional hockey arena has been temporarily shut down after suffering damage in a meteor shower.
The Russian city of Chelyabinsk was hit by a massive meteor on Friday. Hundreds were injured, and the meteor also caused a great deal of property damage, as you might imagine. Arena Traktor, the home to the KHL's Traktor Chelyabinsk pictured above, was among the facilities put out of commission. From the KHL's Facebook page:
The meteor shower which struck Chelyabinsk and its environs has also caused some disruption to the hockey season schedule. The emergency services have confirmed that the walls of the Arena Traktor were among those structures to suffer damage, and therefore large-scale events at the stadium have been postponed.
The sporting facilities will undergo an inspection by experts to assess the readiness of the arena to return to full operational use.
For the time being, the facility shutdown hasn't affected any KHL games. Chelyabinsk wraps up their regular-season with a road game on Sunday. However, they will be opening the Gagarin Cup playoffs at home in a week, and it remains to be seen whether or not they'll be able to do that.
The results of the inspection will be announced Monday.
In the meantime, two Youth Hockey League games between Belye Medvedi of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk’s Stalnye Lisy, as well as the opening of the Traktor’s museum have had to be postponed.
It's all absolutely surreal. An example of the sort of damage the arena might have taken can be seen in this video, where CCTV footage captured the force of the meteor's impact blowing out doors and windows:
For extended coverage of the meteor shower, head on over to Russian Machine Never Breaks, who have done tireless, excellent work on this story.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney