A winter storm that hit much of the country on Thursday, January 2 dropped almost 10 inches of snow on Philadelphia, home of the Lincoln Financial Field. Groundskeepers at the football stadium had the task of removing an estimated 2 to 3 million pounds of snow from the field, stands, parking lot, plazas, and the rest of the venue in time for the Eagles to play the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night in the first round of the NFL playoffs.
On Thursday morning, before the snow began, the grounds maintenance team decided to cover the field with a tarp to protect it from the snow and help with the removal process. Workers plowed the snow off the tarp every time two inches fell during the storm.
Twenty-eight miles of underground heating coils beneath the field are designed to heat the field and help with snow and ice removal. The coils were set at a temperature of about 60 degrees to help melt the snow off the tarp.
Hundreds of workers from a winter services company and local unions took part in the snow removal effort. They cleared stadium seats and pathways and shoveled the snow into plastic chutes, which carried it down to the tarp. Bulldozers then picked up the snow and transported it to dump trucks, which hauled it to the nearby Philadelphia Navy Yard.
The tarp was removed Saturday morning before the game, after winds had died down and there was less of a concern about blowing snow.