Dec. 10, 2009
MADISON, Wis. -- One obvious challenge in putting on the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic sits all over Camp Randall Stadium in the aftermath of the first big snowfall of the season in Madison.
Part of the process of readying the stadium for the once-in-a-lifetime event includes keeping the facility free of snow. Now that approximately 18 inches of snow fell in the Madison area from Tuesday to Wednesday, the task begins of clearing out the stands and the field of Camp Randall Stadium.
If the event planners had their way, now until Feb. 6 would be snow free, but this is winter in Wisconsin. Considering the past two 100-inch snow-filled Madison winters, those responsible for the Stadium this year would be happy for a normal winter of snow. According to the National Climatic Data Center, which is under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Madison averages 44 inches of snow annually.
When there is a snowfall, like the one Madison just experienced, UW's Athletic Department is responsible for snow clearing from the sidewalks into the facilities to make ensure safe passage for events. Campus' Physical Plant includes the responsibility of clearing the sidewalks around the facilities, while the City of Madison takes care of the streets.
To prepare for the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic, UW's Athletic Department staff is building snow chutes that will remain until just before the event. According to associate director of facilities maintenance Ed Molter, "The same staff constructing the snow chutes is the ones who will maintain the bowl seating area and turf as clean as possible after access to the Camp Randall Complex is taken care of after each snowfall. In conjunction with campus and outside contractors, if necessary, build up of snow at field level will be loaded and trucked away."
Large-scale snow removal inside the stadium is generally a new experience for the departement, and so the process that is undertaken is something of a work in progress.
Molter said, "Lambeau Field uses 300 people for approximately four hours to clear their stadium, but we do not have the same time restraints and it is a slightly smaller venue with a different configuration at field level, so it will be different. We will have a much better idea of what it is going to take by next Friday."
Should Madison get lucky enough to have a storm similar to this week's in the days leading up to the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic, the department has worked out details with local temp services to provide addition labor to load and haul the snow away.