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Illinois assessing stadium safety for Friday’s game after fire | #schoolsaftey

Adam RittenbergESPN Senior WriterOct 3, 2023, 11:47 PM ET1 Minute Read

A fire that broke out Tuesday night at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium has been extinguished, and the school will continue to evaluate whether the facility is safe to host Friday night’s football game against Nebraska.

Illinois said the fire occurred in the southwest corner of the stadium, away from spectator areas. No injuries were reported.

The school’s division of intercollegiate athletics will evaluate the facility Wednesday but said in a statement that “early indications are positive” that Friday’s game can be hosted without any interruption or seating changes.

Champaign fire department spokesman Randy Smith told local media outlets that firefighters responded to the scene and found a utility vehicle and a riding mower on fire underneath the horseshoe section in the south part of the stadium. After locating the blaze, firefighters from Champaign and neighboring Urbana quickly put it out.

Memorial Stadium opened in 1923 and underwent a $121 million renovation in 2008. The school also completed upgrades to the east side of the stadium before the 2023 season.

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