Stadium Staff Works To Keep Griz Fans Warm - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Stadium Staff Works To Keep Griz Fans Warm

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MISSOULA -

Griz players are getting ready for what could be the coldest game in history at the Washington-Grizzly Stadium, but the players aren't the only ones preparing for the big game.

There's fans, and then there's Griz fans.

"I wouldn't miss it," said life-long Griz fan, Robert Oscar Walker.

"I've stood out in some pretty cold Montana football games, and it's just another one for the books," said UM student Lauren Astrup.

Sub zero temps, wind and all, 16,000 fans are expected to pack the Washington-Grizzly Stadium to watch their favorite team take on Coastal Carolina in the second round of the FCS playoffs. Montana supporters aren't what you call fair weather fans.

"There may be some people who don't show up, but I think the majority are planning on coming and rooting on the Griz," said UM's Associate Director for Internal Operations, Chuck Maes.

Maes said in his 25 years of working at the university, this could be one of the coldest games he's seen, and his staff is doing everything they can to keep fans happy.

"It is going to be a cold facility and services, and everybody has just gone beyond the call to keep this place from freezing up," Maes said.

He said using insulation and blankets, facility services has been working to make sure the pipes don't freeze up, so the stadium has water for the bathrooms and concession stands.

"The stadium was not made originally to be open through December, so there's a lot of challenges we have to go through just to keep it from freezing up," Maes said.

He said more than keeping fans happy, it's about keeping them safe.

"After about 10 degrees, it's no longer fun, it's work and survival mode, so dress warm," Maes said.

Fans can bring thermoses, blankets, and anything to keep them warm, except for propane heaters, and other dangerous equipment.

"We know you need to stay warm, we know you need to stay safe," Maes said.

The University Center, Adams Center, and the East and West Auxiliary Gyms will be open and heated for fans who need a break from the cold. Crews with St. Patrick Hospital will also be on stand by for anyone who needs help.

"Be smart, have fun and, enjoy yourself," Maes added.

In the case of an emergency you can text Fan Assist at 71855, type Griz, and hit space before typing your message, and emergency services will be alerted to help you or any fans around you who need help.

 

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