University of Minnesota associate athletic director Scott Ellison said the playing surface was in “better shape” than it was for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers’ last home game, Nov. 27 against Iowa.
The snow-removal effort was assisted by the Snow Dragon, a biodiesel-powered mobile snow melter that can melt 30 tons of snow per hour. According to a news release passed along by an alert reader:
The Snow Dragon takes much less energy than hauling. One hour of snow melting is equivalent to 20 dump trucks hauling two loads of snow per hour. The mobile snow melter has a smaller carbon footprint, is safer than having trucks hauling snow through traffic and created just 70 decibels of noise (less than a motorcycle, power saw or lawn mower).
The Snow Dragon has been in Minneapolis since Thursday afternoon. Video from the live stream provided by gophersports.com shows (at 4:10 p.m. CST Friday) the field nearly cleared and snow nearly out of the stands, though work continues.
As of now, the game is a go for Minneapolis; the game-time weather forecast is for a chance of snow with temperatures in the teens.