MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The coldest kickoff since the Gophers moved back outside to TCF Bank Stadium was 23-degrees, against Iowa in November of 2010. We’ll be lucky if the high gets that high on Saturday, so fans, and players, are already figuring out how to stay warm for the big game.
Three days until game time and the folks at the stadium store are getting ready.
“We got in 10 boxes of our big poofy plush blankets,” Anna Proell of Goldy’s Locker Room said. “And we will probably sell all of them on Saturday.”
So are the fans.
“Oh man,” said Owen Nitka of Minneapolis. “We’re going to have hats, blankets, long johns and winter coats. We might even have ski goggles. It’s going to be freezing.”
“I have a scarf, big boots, and a coat,” said Katie Seleski of South St. Paul. “So, I’m good.”
On Saturday, the store will be full of fans with some looking for warm clothes and others just looking for warm air.
“They’re cold outside,” said Proell. “It’s nice and heated, and there’s bodies in here, so it’s nice and warm.”
The players will be warmer than you’d expect, because they use heated benches.
“We got six of those,” said the Gophers Director of Football Equipment Kyle Gergely, “and those stay at a nice 72 degrees. And we’ll also have six extra heaters on the sideline.”
Each player gets a hat, head mask, compression tights, long sleeve shirt and hand pouch to keep warm. How much the players wear, though, is up to them. A wide receiver may wear all of it. An offensive lineman, not so much.
“I think as long as I’ve been here,” said Gergely, “there hasn’t been one offensive lineman to wear gold gear at a cold game.
The Gophers will also have 70 of those big capes ready on the sidelines for any player who needs some extra warmth.
Watch Mike Max’s report on the cold weather football below!