Dec. 16, 2009
MADISON, Wis. - A typical snowstorm in Wisconsin during the hockey season for fans usually means an increase in the transportation time to games, as well as a brisk walk to the Kohl Center. However, this year winter brings additional obstacles.
On Feb. 6 the Badger women’s and men’s hockey teams will host Bemidji State and Michigan, respectively, as they partake in the Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic. While Badger hockey games are normally played inside the Kohl Center and protected from Wisconsin’s bitter winters, an outdoor game entails the responsibility of keeping the stadium and field free of snow. With the 18 inches of snow that fell in Madison last week, this is no small task. A snow removal team is working each day to remove any accumulation between now and Feb. 6. See photo gallery.
A week after the storm, the crew is still hard at work. Snow removal on such a large scale is something unique to the 2009-10 hockey season for the UW Athletic Department. Workers walk up and down each row, using snow blowers to clear the stadium seats. The snow is blown against a board and falls onto a slide, which carries the snow down the stands onto the field, where it will be swept away. Other members of the crew stand closer to the turf, shoveling chunks of snow onto the slide and clearing seats in the lower portion of the stadium.
Presently, over half the field has been scraped and cleared, with snow being pushed into the south end zone prior to removal from the stadium. With the help of special turf-friendly bobcats, the layers of snow blanketing the field are being cleared away and taken out of Camp Randall.
Although the process is tedious, the snow removal team is working slowly but surely to keep Camp Randall snow-free. While one cannot predict how many snowstorms Madison will endure between now and Feb. 6, the UW Athletic Department will work tirelessly to ensure the stadium is free of snow and ready to host this once-in-a-lifetime event.