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Calling an audible: Early snow disrupts high school football playoffs

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The Minnesota high school football semifinals will still begin Thursday – but thanks to all the snow on the ground, where the games get played is up in the air.

KSTP reports the early blast of snow the Twin Cities metro area and central Minnesota received Monday have left some of the planned playing surfaces blanketed in ice and snow.

The reason they're outside in the first place is because, well, the Metrodome got torn down last winter.

WCCO says for decades, the playoffs were hosted inside at the former home of the Twins and Vikings. But with construction of the new stadium currently going on, that's not an option. So the games were scheduled across six different sites, with the finals slated for TCF Bank Stadium.

There are 14 semifinal games, Kevin Merkle with the Minnesota State High School League told KARE 11, and the precipitation combined with the sudden, dramatic drop in temperatures means all of the matchups could be affected.

The initial sites: Edina Community Center's Kuhlman Field, Osseo High School, Hopkins High School, Eden Prairie High School, Wayzata High School and St. Cloud State University.

The Pioneer Press says some games could be moved to sites that are already being used for games (such as pushing the Eden Prairie-Maple Grove matchup out of Edina and over to Hopkins High School); and some games could even be moved to a location farther south, with Farmington and New Prague in play.

There are a few things the MSHSL has to consider:

One, player safety. Once the wind chill hits 15 degrees below zero, the games must be canceled or postponed, according to the MSHSL rulebook.

There's also the cost of field maintenance. All of the fields – if they're going to be used – must be cleared of ice and snow, and the playing surface made safe for competitors, KARE 11 reports. That saps time, money and resources.

A final decision on game locations is expected to be announced Wednesday.

By the way, if you're looking for some extra cash: FOX 9 says TCF Bank Stadium is offering $10 an hour to shovel snow at the venue Wednesday, Nov. 12.

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