A viral aerial video circulating on social media appears to show Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium submerged in floodwaters during Tropical Storm Hilary over the weekend. However, the Dodgers organization has clarified that the stadium was never underwater and that the flooding in the video is an optical illusion.
Claim: An aerial video suggests that Dodger Stadium was flooded during Tropical Storm Hilary.
The Facts: According to Steve Brener, a spokesperson for the Dodgers, the stadium was not flooded. The team even posted a picture online on Monday, showing the parking lot dry. While the video initially gives the impression that the stadium is surrounded by water, it is, in fact, the parking lot encircling the stadium covered in rainwater.
The video was originally shared on social media by an account called “Los Angeles Dodgers Aerial Photography” with the caption “Dodger stadium this morning.” Other users then reshared the video, claiming it depicted the area underwater. The Los Angeles Dodgers Aerial Photography account did not respond to requests for comment.
Mark Holtzman, the president of Los Angeles-based company West Coast Aerial Photography, explained that the illusion likely resulted from the wet concrete creating reflections that made it appear as standing water. He stated that the rain and lighting conditions contributed to this effect.
Hany Farid, a digital forensics specialist at the University of California, Berkeley, backed with this assertion by pointing out that it can be difficult to tell the difference between a moist surface and one that is immersed beneath several inches of water from a distance aerial perspective.
Holtzman, who has extensive experience flying over the stadium, emphasized that the parking lot is not level, which prevents water from pooling.
Further examination of the footage reveals details that wouldn’t be visible if the area were submerged, such as parking space markings and a triangular median at certain intersections. These details correspond with satellite imagery on Google Maps.
It’s worth mentioning that Major League Baseball rescheduled three Sunday games in Southern California due to the forecast for Tropical Storm Hilary. The Dodgers had a double-header on Saturday, so they didn’t have a game scheduled for Sunday. Brener also mentioned that the field would have likely been playable on Monday night if the team wasn’t on the road, and there were preparations for a concert in the parking lot.
Moreover, a more in-depth examination of the footage revealed several details that would not be discernible if the area were submerged. Elements such as parking space markings and a triangular median at certain intersections matched up perfectly with satellite imagery available on platforms like Google Maps. This served as compelling evidence against the claim that the stadium was flooded.
Adding context to the situation, it’s essential to note that Major League Baseball had taken precautionary measures in response to Tropical Storm Hilary’s forecast. Three Sunday games in Southern California were rescheduled due to the impending weather. The Dodgers themselves had a double-header on Saturday, making it unnecessary to schedule a game on the stormy Sunday. Steve Brener also hinted at the possibility of the field being playable by Monday night, had the team not been away, as preparations for a concert in the parking lot were already underway.
Tropical Storm Hilary, a rare occurrence in Southern California, posed additional challenges to a region already grappling with wildfires and even an earthquake on the same Sunday. Amidst these trials, the truth about Dodger Stadium’s condition remained a testament to the power of facts and evidence in an era of viral misinformation.
Tropical Storm Hilary marked the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years, adding to the region’s challenges as it grappled with wildfires and an earthquake on the same Sunday.