Snow Bearing Down on M&T Bank Stadium

Workers have been clearing snow since daybreak and the Bears struggled to fly in.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, December 19th, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

The snowstorm blasting Baltimore has sent M&T Bank Stadium workers into a frenzy and the Chicago Bears into a holding pattern.

Yesterday, the Ravens took preliminary action by postponing the start of Sunday’s game from 1 p.m. ET to 4:15 p.m.

Snowfall began before midnight and the Ravens’ contractors, as well as a horde of temporary hired help and a handful of church group volunteers, have been at M&T Bank Stadium since daybreak to shovel and plow.

At its peak, 500 to 600 people have been at M&T Bank Stadium at one time, estimated Ravens Event and Guest Services Manager John Cline. An estimated 700 total workers are chipping in.

Workers shovel for an hour-and-a-half and get a 20-minute break before going back to it. By mid-afternoon Saturday, an estimated foot of snow had dropped on the stadium.

“We’ve had some much, much less significant snows,” Cline said. “There’s never been something this major and especially this close to kickoff.”

A group of four dump trucks have been rotating trips from the stadium to the Patapsco River to get rid of the snow. Any worker who feels they cannot travel home from M&T Bank Stadium is welcome to sleep over on the floor of the club level. Workers are free to choose whether they want to resume clearing snow when they wake up or go home.

The snow is expected to ease up overnight with an accumulation of three to five inches. According to Weather.com, snowfall is expected to stop around 9 a.m. Sunday.

“We’re just trying to stay ahead of it,” Cline said. “The goal is to remove as much snow as humanly possible in the time allowed.”

The Bears, whose charter flight from Chicago was canceled Friday night, landed in Baltimore shortly before 11 p.m. ET.

The snow hasn’t affected the Ravens’ schedule. The team still held its team meeting and morning walk-through at Owings Mills. They players are currently at their downtown hotel.

Parking lots at M&T Bank Stadium will be open at 11 a.m. Sunday morning and stadium gates will open at 2:45 p.m.

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