Preparation of TCF Stadium for Vikings game ahead of scheduleby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Preparations for the Monday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are apparently ahead of schedule, despite the collapse of the Metrodome in a blizzard last weekend.
Officials at TCF Bank Stadium say they won't need any more people to help shovel the snow out of the stadium, which had been closed up for the winter after the Gophers' last home game in November. The Vikings are playing their final home game of the season at the U's stadium while the roof of the Metrodome awaits repairs.
University officials said that all available positions for shoveling have been filled, and temporary employment agencies in charge of staffing the operation have told the university they're no longer hiring at all.
A statement on the Gopher Athletics website says that nearly all the snow is cleared from the stadium already, two days ahead of the initial schedule, which called for workers to shovel through the weekend.
More snow, though, may fall Monday for the game.
MONDAY'S GAME AT TCF
Tickets to the Monday night Vikings/Bears game at TCF Bank Stadium are still good, but there's no guarantee ticket holders will get a seat.
Steve LaCroix, the vice president of sales and marketing for the Minnesota Vikings, said people left in line when the seats are filled will get refunds.
"For anyone that does not want to go, mail your tickets back to us, postmarked by Saturday."
LaCroix said he wants people to make that decision early so that they can plan and prepare accordingly to manage the crowds and expectations.
"We've got the league officials who put on Superbowls and they're in town and consulting with us to create the most efficient, safest entry system that we can [have] there on campus," he said.
The University of Minnesota and Vikings officials are investigating ways to add seating to the stadium.
The university announced Thursday that alcohol won't be sold at the game. LaCroix said there wasn't time to argue the issue.
"It's a very politically loaded decision that a lot of people have input on," he said. "With more time, I think we would've be able to address that a little more favorably, but unfortunately we could not get that done and we just hope people come out and enjoy Vikings football back outside for the first time in nearly 30 years."
Tim Nelson is a general assignment reporter for MPR News.