Dodger Stadium Unaffected by Floods Despite Viral Video

by Ethan Kim
Stadium Flooding Illusion

A widely circulated aerial video of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles has sparked rumors of flooding during Tropical Storm Hilary. However, a closer examination of the facts reveals that the stadium remains unaffected by floods, and the video merely presents an optical illusion.

The claims circulating on social media, suggesting that Dodger Stadium was submerged due to the impact of Tropical Storm Hilary, are not grounded in reality. The spokesperson for the Dodgers, Steve Brener, confirmed that the stadium did not experience any flooding during the storm. In fact, the team shared an image online that showed the parking lot to be dry on the following Monday.

While the aerial footage from Sunday initially appears to depict a flooded landscape around the stadium, it is, in fact, the parking lot surrounding the stadium that is slick with rainwater. This phenomenon creates the illusion of standing water encircling the building.

The video in question was initially posted on X and Instagram by an account named “Los Angeles Dodgers Aerial Photography,” accompanied by the caption “Dodger stadium this morning.” Other users subsequently reshared the video, claiming that it showcased the stadium submerged underwater. The account responsible for the original post did not provide any comment on the matter.

Mark Holtzman, the president of West Coast Aerial Photography, a Los Angeles-based company, explained that the illusion likely emerged due to the wet concrete’s interaction with light and reflections. This interaction produces an “opaque look,” creating the appearance of standing water. Holtzman noted that the unique lighting conditions caused by rain and gray skies contribute to this effect.

Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert at the University of California, Berkeley, affirmed that the video is not manipulated or fake. Nevertheless, he pointed out that from a distant aerial perspective, it is challenging to differentiate between a wet surface and one submerged under several inches of water. Farid’s assessment underscores that the video does not depict flooding around the stadium.

Further analysis reveals key details that dispel the illusion. For example, the painted markings designating parking spaces in sections closest to the camera, such as lots 3, 4, 5, and 15, are visible and align with satellite imagery of the area on Google Maps. Additionally, a triangular median at the intersections of lots I, K, and 7 can be seen in the footage. This median is landscaped with short shrubbery that would have likely been submerged if flooding had occurred.

The stadium’s unique topography also plays a role in debunking the flood rumors. Mark Holtzman, who has flown over the stadium on numerous occasions, highlighted that the parking lot is not level, making it impossible for water to pool up significantly.

Despite the turmoil caused by Tropical Storm Hilary, including the rescheduling of Major League Baseball games and the impact on Southern California’s weather, Dodger Stadium remained untouched by flooding. The misinformation circulating online demonstrates the importance of fact-checking and verifying sources, particularly during events that can generate a significant online buzz.

This article is part of an effort to address and clarify widely shared misinformation, in collaboration with external entities, aimed at providing factual context to misleading content circulating on the internet. To learn more about fact-checking efforts, refer to AP’s commitment to accuracy and transparency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Stadium Flooding Illusion

Is Dodger Stadium actually flooded in the viral video?

No, the viral video depicting Dodger Stadium flooded during Tropical Storm Hilary is an optical illusion. The stadium remained unaffected by floods.

How was the illusion of flooding created in the video?

The illusion of flooding was likely created by the interaction between wet concrete, reflections, and specific lighting conditions caused by rain and gray skies. These factors combined to give the appearance of standing water.

Did the Dodgers confirm the flooding?

No, Steve Brener, the spokesperson for the Dodgers, clarified that the stadium did not experience any flooding during Tropical Storm Hilary. A picture of the dry parking lot on Monday further supports this confirmation.

Why did some believe the stadium was flooded?

The illusion of flooding led some social media users to believe that Dodger Stadium was submerged in water. The video’s misleading nature and subsequent resharing contributed to this misconception.

How did experts verify the illusion?

Mark Holtzman, a photography expert, explained that the illusion is likely due to the “opaque look” created by wet concrete and light reflections. Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert, confirmed that the video isn’t manipulated but showcases an illusion.

What details in the video disproved the flooding theory?

Upon closer analysis, visible painted parking space markings and landscaped medians in the footage debunked the flooding theory. These details would not have been present if flooding had occurred.

How did the stadium’s topography play a role?

The stadium’s uneven parking lot topography prevents significant water pooling, corroborating the fact that the illusion doesn’t represent actual flooding.

What impact did Tropical Storm Hilary have on the stadium?

While the storm caused the rescheduling of MLB games and weather impacts across Southern California, Dodger Stadium remained untouched by flooding.

What lesson does this situation teach about online information?

This situation underscores the importance of fact-checking and verifying sources before believing and sharing information, especially during events that generate significant online attention.

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EconGeek August 22, 2023 - 4:14 am

dodger stadium myth busted, huh? rainwater makin’ it look like an island, damn! experts know stuff, tho. trust but verify, y’all!

JohnnyD August 22, 2023 - 8:19 pm

hey, cool read bout dat Dodger Stadium floodin’ thing. gotta admit, dat video tricked me too. but it aint flooded, huh? optical illusion, who knew?


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