As Green Bay weather in January goes, Sunday evening’s NFC second-round playoff matchup between the Packers and Seattle Seahawks will be played under comparatively benign conditions: The forecast calls for temperatures around 20 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff (5:40 p.m. local time) with only a hint of wind and no snow.
It’s the night before that might cause some issues. The forecast as of Thursday called for a gusty winter storm could dump up to 10 inches of snow on Green Bay starting Saturday afternoon and continuing into the night before moving out early Sunday morning, well before kickoff.
And while the predicted snowfall decreased a bit in Friday’s forecast, the Packers have issued a call for as many as 700 shovelers to help dig out Lambeau Field’s lower-bowl seating areas starting at 6 a.m. local time Sunday (the upper decks, which are modern additions to a stadium that opened in 1957, feature heated areas that melt snow, and the field itself is warmed by an underground heating system). The job will pay $12 an hour.
The team has asked for shoveling help from the public numerous times, most recently in December ahead of a game against the Chicago Bears. It’s really quite the production, with a conveyor belt whisking the snow down the concourse to the field, where it’s scooped up into dump trucks.
The team allegedly had to start paying the shovelers in cash because people wouldn’t cash the team’s checks, instead taking them home and framing them.
There have been some infamously cold playoff games at Lambeau Field, notably the 1967 Ice Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys (temperatures around minus-15, wind chills at minus-36) and a January 2008 playoff game against the New York Giants (minus-1 degrees at kickoff).
Meanwhile, the Seahawks are no strangers to chilly road playoff games. Seattle played in the third-coldest game in playoff history in Minnesota in 2016. The pregame temperature was minus-6 degrees and the wind chill was a frigid minus-25. Seattle won on a missed Blair Walsh field goal, 10-9.
But Seattle has yet to win in Lambeau Field since 1999. Russell Wilson is 0-3 at Green Bay, having thrown six picks to just three touchdowns in those contests. Perhaps the worst game of Wilson’s career was a five-interception game in a 38-10 loss that occurred on a chilly 26-degree night in Green Bay.