As we noted Tuesday night, TCF Bank Stadium remains the likeliest candidate to host Monday night's game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. But the Vikings continue to hedge their public statements on the matter as University of Minnesota officials work feverishly to ready the stadium for an NFL game.
So it's worth noting that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted earlier Wednesday that he is "Ready, willing & avail to help the Vikings out this Mon night if necessary." In other words, Indianapolis is one of several backup options should efforts at TCF Bank Stadium fail or be delayed by a snowstorm forecast for midweek in the Twin Cities.
As it stands, some details are starting to emerge about the stadium conversion process. Among them:
The school is looking for temporary workers to shovel snow for $10 per hour in six-hour shifts between now and Sunday. There are 20-inch drifts throughout the stadium, which has been dormant since last month. *Update: According to the Star Tribune, the university will not pay for shoveling and instead is asking for volunteers. The Vikings have removed the request from their web site.
Among other adjustments, officials will have to place Plexiglass shields in front of concession stands to ensure they remain heated during the game.
The school needs to turn water supplies back on and ensure that pipes don't freeze over in the meantime, a tricky December task.
The artificial surface at TCF Bank Stadium has been under snow for weeks and is not heated. A frozen playing surface is one of many player safety issues that need to be addressed.
I'm sure no one cares about this detail. But at the moment, attorneys are investigating whether alcohol can be sold during Monday night's game. It has been outlawed for University of Minnesota games the past two years.
For those of you who are asking, we haven't gotten any word yet as to how the Vikings will deal with perhaps the biggest challenge: Whittling down at least 12,000 pre-sold tickets to compensate for the drop-off in capacity between the Metrodome and TCF Bank Stadium. Sit tight on that one.