The Bears Vs. Vikings Monday Night Football game appears destined for TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. It seems like the best alternative to the collapsed Metrodome, but there are concerns that the freezing conditions could create issues for the players in the outdoor stadium. From the Star-Tribune:
“I just hope it’s a safe environment to play in,” said Visanthe Shiancoe. “That it’s not going to be hazardous to the players when it comes to field conditions.”
Linebacker Ben Leber also expressed concern:
“It can be a potentially dangerous situation, but because historically in the past games have been played on frozen fields … and there is probably not enough evidence to say, ’There’s a 60 percent chance of a player getting hurt’ or whatever. This machine has been going too long and too hard for anything to throw a wrench in it during the week of the game. It’s a valid question, but I don’t think anything could be done.”
TCF Bank Stadium does not have a heating device under the playing surface, so while the University and hundreds of volunteers may be able to get the field clear of snow and ice, the turf could still present hazards. With the game-time temperature expected to be near zero degrees the surface will feel like concrete, and any moisture remaining could potentially re-freeze.
But hey, it’s better than traveling back to Detroit for another “home game.”