December 5 2013 Latest news:
By Stuart Watson
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
IPSWICH Town say it would be heavy snowfall – not freezing temperatures – which could put Saturday’s visit of Barnsley in doubt.
A protective tent has been in place over the Portman Road pitch since last Friday and has so far coped with temperatures as low as -7. Heavy snow is forecast for Friday and Saturday though and that could make both areas inside and outside the ground unsafe.
“The pitch is fine and as we stand at the moment, we will be okay,” Town’s head groundsman Ben Connell told the club website.
“The covers have been up since Friday and we have been building temperatures into the ground.
“We dealt with freezing temperatures well below zero last night (Tuesday) and we will keep the tent in place until Saturday morning.
“The temperatures are not going to be too cold for Saturday but there is a lot of snow forecast and that is where the main concern is. There is a bigger picture than just the pitch if there is snow around other areas of the stadium.
“We will be monitoring the weather closely and have got plans in place but there is only so much you can do until the snow falls and a lot will depend on how much falls and when.”
Town’s home match against Middlesbrough last February was abandoned after 37 minutes after the referee deemed that a shaded strip of the pitch in front of the Britannia Stand was unsafe. Temperatures had plummeted to around -13 the previous night on that occasion though, with the forecast for this Friday night around freezing.