PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you think you had trouble digging out of your driveway this morning, imagine if you had to dig out a 65,000 seat stadium.
However, that’s exactly what’s going on at Heinz Field today as crews prepare for Sunday’s AFC Championship.
An army of guys armed with snow shovels cleared out Heinz Field the old-fashioned way Friday afternoon.
Four plus inches of snow has to be cleared from each and every seat, each and every step, even Mr. Rooney’s statue has to be cleared off. It’s late January, we’re playing football and we like it, snow, cold or whatever.
As for the field condition, the Steelers declined to be interviewed, but officials say it is nearly pristine.
It’s newly laid sod was covered with a tarp and is being heated. So, playing conditions on the ground should be excellent.
The air game is a different story.
A chilled wind is whipping through Heinz Field, a field known as one of the most difficult for kickers in the NFL. It just so happens that the New York Jets kicker, Nick Folk, has botched more field goals this season than any kicker in the NFL. Just sayin’…
But the snowfall at in Pittsburgh is nothing compared to what they faced at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
Piles of snow by the truck load were hauled out of there earlier this month after a blizzard hit the Boston area. Crews there said 16 million cubic feet of snow filled the stadium.
“If you put that on top of the playing surface of the stadium, it would be 280 feet tall,” said a Gillette Stadium official. “That would be 110 feet higher than the highest seat in the building.”
The Steelers aren’t talking about how much snow they’ve hauled out of Heinz Field. But needless to say, it’s a lot. They expect it will be all gone by game day.
There’s a chance for more snow Sunday morning. Also, the game time temperature will be in the teens. So, while the snow may be all cleared away, it will be one cold game.