Skol-U-Mah: U community keeps Vikings in Minnesota

Uploaded by UniversityofMinn on 21.12.2010

The historic blizzard of December 11 and 12 dropped more
than 17 inches of show on the Twin Cities.
It also collapsed the roof of the Metrodome,
deflating the Minnesota Vikings' hopes
of finishing their home season, in their home state.
As the Vikings' final home game drew near, the University
of Minnesota agreed to reopen the doors of TCF Bank Stadium,
which had already been winterized
after a season-ending Gophers victory
over the Iowa Hawkeyes on November 20.
But the stadium was winterized in more ways than one.
The field and seats were sitting under that same snowy blanket
that brought down the roof of the Dome,
which meant the University and the community would have
to join forces in a large-scale snow emergency.
The U and the Vikings brought in crews of temporary workers,
many of them volunteers, who, for the better part
of a week undertook the arduous process of clearing the stadium,
one shovelful at a time.
By week's end, the crews removed some 40,000 cubic yards of snow.
This event, the Monday night football game that we're going
to have tonight, at 7:40 kickoff,
was a total University Community effort.
Not only the stadium staff,
who had to coordinate getting the snow out of the stadium,
which was a monumental task,
it was the facilities management group, land care group,
waste management, the facility management maintenance,
the work that they did in order to get the stadium ready
for the game tonight was just unbelievable.
In the stadium alone, we figured we put in close
to 27,000 man hours in shoveling
and hauling snow out of the stadium.
With 40,000 cubic yards of snow that we took out of the stadium,
which if you were to put it on a football field, is 20 feet deep,
so that is how much snow came out of the stadium.
It was the first time the Vikings had the opportunity
to play a home game outdoors in exactly 29 years,
since the last game at Met Stadium on December 20, 1981.
And that brought smiles to and advice from some
of the Purple People Eaters who roamed the Met.
I think it's going to be fun, you know to play
in this kind of weather.
Weather actually influences the game, strategy wise, skill wise,
all those kinds of things, so it'll be nice
to see how these guys play.
Of course, just when the field and stadium were all
in the clear gleaming green field and tarp,
maroon and gold seats, and some new touches
of purple flair Old Man Winter decided to get nasty again.
Another major storm arrived mid-morning on Game Day
and dumped 6 more inches of snow,
keeping workers scurrying until game time.
But that didn't keep fans from lining up early for the chance
to enjoy an outdoor football game in December
in the friendly confines of TCF Bank Stadium.
I think it was great that the University accommodated
the Vikings.
In quick time, they got the volunteers
out here, which was great.
They got a little money I hope.
It's a great atmosphere for football, so it was great.
Win or lose.
The University, for its part, was happy to lend a hand
to the Vikings and show off its new jewel at the east end
of campus to some new fans and a national TV audience.
I can't tell you how proud I am of the University community.
About 5 days ago, we had a discussion with the NFL
and the Minnesota Vikings Leadership about whether
or not we could get TCF Bank Stadium ready for this game.
And literally thousands and thousands
of people have been working together and I tell you,
I couldn't be prouder of the work that has gone
on to make this historic day possible.