By Angela Davis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The football field at TCF Bank Stadium has been transformed into an ice rink for a 10-day festival known as the Hockey City Classic.

The big event is slated for Friday, when the Gophers women and men’s hockey teams play a double header. That means thousands of people will be coming and going at the outdoor stadium, and the snow has got to go.

Steve Crank, with TCF event staff, said crews worked all last week removing snow. And after Tuesday’s snowfall, they had to clear out the stadium yet again.

While the entryway and the sidewalks are a chore, clearing away the snow between all the seats takes hours, and a special technique.

“They put these big, thick, black tarps up, and they are real slick,” said Jim Awada, with event staff. “They actually take the snow from up above and they shovel right down onto it, and it rolls right on to the field. It’s unbelievable.”

The tarp technique works, but it takes a lot of people and some patience, especially if it’s windy.

“The wind isn’t as bad down [in the lower seats], but when you get up [in the higher seats], it is just not acceptable by most people,” said Phill Jordin with event staff. “But I think we are pretty tough.”

University of Minnesota students who grew up in other states learned a thing or two Tuesday about Minnesota winters. One of them was John Sullivan of Illinois.

“It’s just unbelievable,” he said. “People just shrug this off like it’s just another day. Where I’m from, people would be locked inside on a day like this, just calling’ it quits.”

Erin Fix is from Wisconsin, and enjoys snowboarding, so she was at home in the snow.

“I think most people hate it from what I hear, but I like it,” she said. “I think it’s a pretty good winter. We haven’t had this much snow in a while.”

The cleanup crew says they want to make sure the snow doesn’t accumulate, that’s why they’re attacking it every day.

If it gets all packed down and icy, it gets harder to remove.


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