Glendale FD: 75 medical calls at Copa America

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 01:44:50-04

The heat got dangerous for some as soccer fans braved the extreme temperatures at the Copa America match at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday. 

Glendale fire and medical crews took care of 75 patients at the event, mostly for heat-related illness, according to Capt. Michael Young with the Glendale Fire Department. 

With 65,000 people attending the event, first responders were ready with their mini ambulances on standby to be able to maneuver through the crowds.

The extreme heat didn't keep fans away, though many saying it was scary at times. 

"Oh my gosh, it was terrible. I told my husband, 'I'm getting an anxiety attack.' But I said, breathe and everything is going to be ok," said Gabriela Gutierrez, whose Mexico side topped Uruguay 3-1 in the match.

Many fans said watching the event was worth waiting out in the heat. 

"Absolutely 100%, 100%. A lot of water. A lot of water and beer," said Jay Fernandez, a Uruguay fan, about how he was dealing with the heat. 

"It's worth It. Beer--you can drink beer and kick it, and scream, 'Viva Mexico!'" said Joe Villanueva, a Mexico fan. 

Glendale fire crews say many fans weren't prepared, including wearing the wrong clothing for the extreme heat or drinking energy drinks and alcohol instead of water. 

The amount of calls they responded to was more than double the average number of calls crews respond to for a Cardinals game, Young said.