Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium had to be evacuated hours before the Big Bash League final between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades after a smoke alarm went off. It turned out to be a false alarm and the stadium was reopened half an hour after evacuation, according to Australian media.
The stadium is home to the Renegades and those evacuated included stadium staff and the players of the home side. They were sent off to Bourke Street and allowed to go back to the stadium after confirmation that it was indeed a false alarm.
According to reports, Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade later said that an alarm had been tripped in one of the small sections of the stadium before the gates opened for the final clash. A spokeswoman from the stadium, also called the Marvel Stadium for sponsorship purposes, later downplayed the incident and said it was “most definitely a false alarm in one small section of the stadium”.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson later said that fire engines were present at the location when the alarms went off.
Fox Sports reported that it was the second time in 24 hours that an unexpected alarm has disrupted the two teams. At 2.30am local time, about 12 hours before the match was scheduled to start, alarms were triggered in the hotel that both teams were staying in. “It was a bloody shambles,” Fox Cricket commentator Mark Howard said on Triple M. “I finally got to sleep about 2 o’clock. At half past two, there’s klaxons, there’s alarms, there’s noise going on.”
The Stars won the toss and chose to bowl first. They reduced the Renegades to 65/5 within 11 overs before Dan Christian and Tom Cooper shared an unbeaten 80-run partnership. The Stars now need to make 146 runs to win their maiden BBL title.