The Gopher football team needs a lot of help getting ready for its game against Ohio State on Saturday. They need some good, strong people -- not to join them on the field but to shovel out TCF Bank Stadium.
The University of Minnesota has put out a call for hundreds of people to come to the stadium the next two days, pick up a shovel and clear the stands of snow that is several inches deep in many places. Shovelers will be paid $10 per hour.
Here are the details (click the image for a larger version):
The shoveling effort began Wednesday, and university officials say the turnout has been a little disappointing so far, according to FOX 9. They're hoping for 100 people per shift.
If you're interested in helping out, you should show up at the stadium a half hour before the shift begins and bring two forms of identification. Shovels will be provided. And you need to be at least 18 years old. The total cost of the snow removal is estimated at $30,000, FOX 9 reports.
The snow needs to be cleared from the stands, but the playing field will be in good shape for the game, according to FOX 9, because the new heating system installed underneath the turf melted all the snow.
The stadium is located at 420 SE 23rd Avenue in Minneapolis, on the U of M campus. The Gophers play Ohio State at 11 a.m. Saturday.
This isn't the first time students have helped shovel to prepare a stadium. U of M posted a photo from 1940 that shows a similar effort at the old Memorial Stadium.
Of course, this wasn't an issue for the Gophers, or the Vikings for that matter, for 30 years, because both teams played their home games in the covered Metrodome. The Gophers started playing outdoors in their new stadium in 2009. The Vikings are playing their home games at the U of M stadium for two seasons while their new stadium is under construction.
High school football playoff games, which get underway Thursday night, are affected as well. They used to be played inside the Metrodome, too. This year the state semi-final games were scheduled at six different sites, but some of those fields won't be ready in time because of the snow and cold weather.
The Minnesota State High School League has revised the playoff schedule, and you can see all the details on its Facebook page.