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Minnesota cancels sporting events for winter’s renaissance

The track and field teams nixed the Minnesota Open, and the softball team also canceled its game on Wednesday.
Snow covers Siebert Field during a blizzard on Sunday, April 15, 2018. 
Image by Alex Tuthill-Preus

Snow covers Siebert Field during a blizzard on Sunday, April 15, 2018. 

Winter is coming?

The cold and snowy weather is back, and it’s not good news for sports teams at the University of Minnesota. Mostly the teams plan for this kind of weather when it is seasonably expected. But this year, the climate threw the schedule makers and teams another curveball.

The athletics department announced on Tuesday that the Minnesota Spring Open, a track and field meet, is canceled. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, and it will not be rescheduled for a later date. The meet was going to be the first official track and field meet at the new track and field stadium, located in the shadows of Athletes Village.

Later on Tuesday, the University canceled Minnesota’s non-conference, mid-week softball matchup between Minnesota and South Dakota State. Like the Minnesota Spring Open, the softball game will not be rescheduled.

The Gophers’ football team announced a change of its own: the annual Spring Game scheduled for Saturday morning is being moved from TCF Bank Stadium to its indoor practice facility in Athletes Village. The team announced that the event will no longer be open to the public due to space constraints.

Although fans will no longer be able to attend the Spring Game in person, the game is still being broadcast on BTN2Go and on KFAN radio.

As of Wednesday evening at the onset of the storm, the forecast calls for anywhere between 4 and 8 inches of snow in the Twin Cities metro area, according to KARE 11.

The Gophers’ spring sports are familiar with this type of occurrence, even though their schedules are largely built to avoid storms like this. 

The softball team’s schedule was created to have 31 consecutive road games to open the season before the team returned home for games at the very end of March. The baseball team is in a similar situation with 21 straight games to open the season away from Minneapolis. 

The golf teams both play in the Twin Cities in the fall season, but don’t have a tournament hosted in Minnesota in each team’s entire spring season.

Last year, Minnesota experienced a similar weather situation. In April 2018, the Twin Cities experienced a massive snowfall and unexpected cold, with similar results to this year’s situation. The football team’s spring game was moved two days early to beat the snow and cold. Along with the football team, the softball, baseball, tennis, rowing and track teams were all affected by the inclement weather.

More schedule alterations could be imminent if the weather continues to be unseasonably cold. The baseball and softball teams have home series scheduled for Friday through Sunday.

Second day of the storm

On Thursday, after roughly 3 inches of snow fell in Minneapolis, the softball and baseball teams announced they would postpone the first game of each team’s series. 

The baseball team was initially supposed to play on Friday and the softball team was supposed to play Friday night as well, but both were moved. The softball team now plans for a doubleheader on Sunday, while playing its Saturday game as originally scheduled. 

The baseball team has yet to determine what it will do with the game it had to postpone.

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