Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University
Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler University

Roof Leak at Historic Facility Delays College Basketball Game

  February 7, 2020

By Greg Zimmerman

Earlier this week at the International Roofing Expo in Dallas, there was much discussion about resilience, and why resilient roofing is critical to protecting building operations. Put another way, a roof has one job: It must protect a building so that building operations are not disrupted.

That message came home to roost in a rather visible way on Wednesday night. A roof leak at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University in Indianapolis delayed a top 20, nationally televised college hoops game between Villanova and the home team Butler Bulldogs for 19 minutes. Heavy rains in the area prior to tip-off led to water pouring into the 92-year-old arena and pooling on the floor. This led to several jokes about the rare rain delay during a college basketball game. 

But a roof leak is no laughing matter, and if it wasn’t for the facilities staff at Butler, the problem could've been a lot worse. They went to work to quickly rig up a red bucket in the rafters of the facility to catch the remaining water still leaking through. Others scrambled to mop up the puddles on the floor. At least one Butler official kept a good sense of humor about the incident. Butler’s athletic director tweeted a photo of a popular rubber sealant purported to “stop leaks fast.”

WTHR13 in Indianapolis has some good video and a running story about the roof leak and the Indianapolis Star rounded up some of the best tweets about the roof leak “crisis.” When the game continued, Butler won 79-76 on a dramatic buzzer beater. All’s well that ends well. But no word yet on planned roof repairs. 

This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com. Read his cover story about Chris Walinski and his mission to make open offices flexible and productive. 


Read next on FacilitiesNet