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Weather causes game-weekend cancellations

| Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Football activities and gameday staff encountered unusual challenges last weekend after “unprecedented” amounts of snow and harsh winds overtook campus, according to Mike Seamon, associate vice president for campus safety.

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Irish senior quarterback Everett Golson rushes down the field during Notre Dame’s 43-40 overtime loss to Northwestern on Saturday. Some events before the game were cancelled due to inclement weather.

“The snow and the cold played big factors in the weekend’s activities around the game,” Seamon said. “To everyone’s knowledge, we cannot remember a time when we had so much snow leading up to a game.

“We’ve certainly experienced snow in and around certain games over the years, including as recently as the BYU game last season, but we’ve never had over 12 inches of snow fall within a 48-hour period leading up to the game.”

Seamon said clearing Notre Dame Stadium of excess snow by game time posed the biggest problem for his gameday crew, who for the first time had to look to the Notre Dame community and beyond for assistance

“Numerous groups of individuals, including many students from various campus clubs and organizations, helped in removing literally tons of snow from the Stadium on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “… Some of the student groups that helped in the shoveling included ROTC, the Rugby Club and the Boxing Club.

“From Thursday evening when the snow finally stopped falling through Saturday morning, we had over 400 people from various student, staff and outside agencies help with the operation. We built and implemented the response as this amount of snow during the season was unprecedented.”

Seamon said the harsh weather conditions throughout the days leading up to the game disrupted traditional football weekend activities.

“The Friday Tunnel Tour was suspended as we were busy hauling all of the snow out of the Stadium during the afternoon and throughout the entire night,” he said. “We were forced to reduce some parking and limit the courtesy golf cart rides and the student pedal cab service due to the snowy conditions. The Band also had to cancel its traditional Friday step-off and practice due to the inclement weather.”

Other football-related events saw a decline in attendance. Seamon said the Friday luncheon had more than 800 guests and 5,000 people attended the pep rally in the Compton Family Ice Arena. For the game against the University of North Carolina, those events drew 1,050 and 8,250 fans, respectively.

Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) made six arrests on campus Saturday, including four for “public intoxication or public order-related offenses” and two for shoplifting, according to NDSP Chief Phil Johnson.

Johnson said the snowy conditions complicated travel and parking procedures but did not create any serious problems.

“The cold weather and snow presented some challenges for fans but the parking lot operations went well and traffic moved along safely,” he said. “I’m thankful for all the staff who braved cold temperatures to welcome and assist guests in the lots and to the area police officers who directed traffic to help fans get to campus and then again on their way following the game.”

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About Lesley Stevenson

Lesley Stevenson is a senior news writer for The Observer after previously serving as News Editor and an Assistant Managing Editor. She is a senior from Memphis, Tennessee, studying Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) and American Studies and living in Breen-Phillips Hall. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lcstevenson, and visit her website at lcstevenson.wordpress.com

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