And the Band Didn’t Play On: The Sickness at Barnett Stadium

HISD has now contracted with an industrial hygienist to evaluate the drainage systems, mechanical rooms, and plumbing and electrical systems at Barnett Stadium in an attempt to determine what might have caused 22 band or dance-team members from Stephen F. Austin High School to become mysteriously ill during a football game there Friday night. Several students displayed what appeared to be symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Epidemiologists have been interviewing students and school officials “to get information on the whereabouts of the band members within the stadium and collect other health related-factors that could have played a role in the event,” the school district announced. The HISD Athletics Department is expected to announce tomorrow morning whether 2 UIL playoff games scheduled for this week at the 6800 Fairway Dr. location will be moved to a different field.

Photo: Paragon Sports

10 Comment

  • Yeah, I’ve been following this story. Very strange, no obvious smoking gun. Will be interesting to see how it plays out. Golfcrest Country Club used to be over there until they moved to Pearland in 1971. The Spanish-style clubhouse is still in use as a storage building. I’ve never been to Barnett Stadium but I’ve been to Tully, which is …meh and to Delmar, which is really grotty.

  • I remember that Barnett was simply okay, too. But I don’t doubt that there have been twenty years of decay.

  • It will be very interesting to hear the results. How will they explain the EMT who got sick while treating the students?

  • Presuming that the buses these kids rode in on weren’t the culprits,
    I suggest that one of those ‘herbal stimulants’ was passed around. And washed down with Red Bull.

  • And the paramedic in question – probably great at his job – is one very empathetic individual who fell victim to the power of suggestion.

  • Finally someone said it…been thinking the same thing. Hope we’re wrong.

  • let’s start with the obvious. what do school buses, ambulances and fire trucks have in common? and how many times have you seen an ambulance arrive on scene and immediately shut down the engine? um, never?

    so if there were ventilation issues when the buses arrived, how much better do you think it got when a dozen ambulances got there? now you’re getting it.

    kids will be kids, but i’m not going to be the one to pin blame on a professional life saver.

  • Good point, that. I’ll bet vehicle, especially diesel, exhaust is the culprit. Is there even natural gas service to the stadium? What would need it? Heaters? Water heaters? Concession stand equipment?

  • I don’t know, but I would think that the bus ignition would have been turned off long before the kids took to the field.

    At least I ‘think’ it happened while they were on the field. Anybody know? And don’t the bands play at half time?

    More likely to me that it was something inside the stadium. Still no clue about the EMT though.

  • Must have been a really nasty large scale fart…