Packers' frozen tundra mystique melts with turf-heating system
- Published: Jan. 14, 2012 at 09:33 a.m.
- Updated: Jan. 14, 2012 at 10:49 a.m.
What's in a name? Apparently nothing aside from a decades-long mythology when it comes to the vaunted "frozen tundra" at Lambeau Field.
In a story in Saturday's edition of The New York Times, the newspaper reported the turf at the Green Bay Packers' home stadium has not been frozen during a football game for more than 40 years.
"It's just like playing in the summer on the grass," Green Bay offensive lineman T. J. Lang said. "It's never hard, it's never frozen."
According to The Times, the ground at Lambeau Field has been heated since 1967 when the franchise installed electric coils underneath the playing surface to keep the ground soft in frigid conditions. The only reason "The Ice Bowl" -- the 1967 NFL Championship game between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys -- occurred was because the sub-zero temperatures overwhelmed the recently installed heating system.
In 1997, the Packers replaced the coil system with a series of underground pipes filled with a solution that included antifreeze. The Times reported the temperature of the field is controlled by field manager Allen Johnson. Temperatures are expected to be in the 20s during Sunday's divisional round playoff game against the New York Giants, but the newspaper reported the field should read at a comfortable 40 degrees.