University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

The Effect of Weather and Sporting Events on Ambulatory Visits and Hospitalizations at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Cynthia Kay, MD, MS; Jeffrey L. Jackson, MD, MPH

WMJ. 2022;121(2):164-166

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Background: We explored the impact of weather and sporting events on clinic and emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalization.

Methods: Weather, dates of sporting events, ED visits, hospitalizations, clinic visits, no-shows, and same-day patient cancellations from 2015 to 2018 were abstracted from Milwaukee’s Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system.

Results: Inclement precipitation increased clinic cancellations. Snowfall reduced ED visits. Green Bay Packer football games, University of Wisconsin-Madison football games, and the Super Bowl reduced ED visits but not hospitalizations. Milwaukee Brewers baseball home games didn’t affect ED visits, but hospital admissions increased slightly. Basketball events (Milwaukee Bucks, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University) had no impact.

Conclusion: Inclement weather increased clinic cancellations, and snow reduced ED visits. Football games reduced ED visits, while baseball increased hospitalizations, probably because the Milwaukee Brewers stadium is located on the VA property.

Author Affiliations: Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Kay, Jackson).
Corresponding Author: Cynthia Kay, MD, MS, 5000 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53295; phone 414.384.2000, ext 42680; email
Acknowledgement: The opinions expressed in this article reflect those of the authors and should not be construed in any way to be those of the US Government or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
Funding/Support: None declared.
Availability of Supporting Data: The datasets generated and analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due to confidentiality issues related to patient information.
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