Hadlock Field head groundskeeper Rick Anderson surveyed the field in late February.

“Absolute worst I’ve seen in 22 years,” he said.

When Portland Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa stood in the press box for a view, he had to peer over the snowdrifts blown against the windows. What he discovered were whole sections of seats completely covered in snow.

“I’ve never seen that before,” Iacuessa said. “A friend of mine said, ‘You don’t have a chance to play in April.’ And that was probably the 50th time I had heard that.

“I just started thinking that we have to change the conversation. We’re pretty confident that we’re going to be ready.”

So the Sea Dogs guaranteed it.

In another in a long history of unique promotions, the Sea Dogs are guaranteeing their 2015 season opener will be played April 9 at Hadlock Field in Portland.

If the game is postponed, the Sea Dogs will give each fan two tickets to a future game – double the usual “rain check” policy.

Fans have responded. Ticket sales for the opener are 1,100 ahead of last year’s pace – with about 2,000 tickets remaining.

The Sea Dogs also had their annual dime-a-degree promotion on March 4, selling single-game tickets that day for a price based on the temperature. It was 35 degrees so tickets cost $3.50. Fans bought almost 10,000 tickets that day.

“Another neat little promotion to get people thinking about baseball in the winter,” Iacuessa said.

While people are thinking about baseball, Anderson has been trying to give it a chance to be played in early April. When his crew began removing the snow on March 2 – the earliest date the crew has ever started – Anderson faced a layer of snow 40 inches deep.

“Dense,” he said.

Using a snowblower attached to a tractor and a dump truck with wheels on a continuous track (think of a tank), the Hadlock crew began the removal process, while being careful not to damage the field. In the stands, the Sea Dogs staff invaded, shovels in hand.

Three weeks later, the field is clear of snow. There is still more snow to be removed from the stands, but it looks a lot better than the view from your front door.

“It’s up to Mother Nature now and you don’t bet against Mother Nature,” Anderson said. He added with a smile, “Unlike others, I won’t guarantee it … but it’s looking hopeful.”

Longtime Sea Dogs fans can remember when the team was supposed to open at home in the 2003 and 2007 seasons. Snow postponed the first four games each of those years.

“Bad memories,” Iacuessa said, obviously hoping for clearer skies this time.

“We couldn’t play today, but we’re making progress … the biggest stress is what (weather) is going to come in the next few weeks.”

WHAT WILL the team look like that arrives at Hadlock next month? You may not recognize many of the names right away – no Henry Owens, no Mookie Betts, no Christian Vazquez – but there will be plenty of homegrown talent.

Among the starting pitchers, we could see a return of Keith Couch, Justin Haley, Mike Augliera, Luis Diaz and Mike McCarthy. Reliever Robby Scott might come back on the heels of a stellar 2014, if there is no room in Pawtucket.

First baseman David Chester and infielder Mike Miller should return, along with shortstop Marco Hernandez (acquired from the Cubs in the Felix Doubront trade) and Reed Gragnani from Class A Salem.

The outfield will probably have Portland’s best prospect in Henry Ramos, who was batting .326 before breaking his leg early last season. Plus, Keury De La Cruz and Shannon Wilkerson should be back. Former Sea Dogs infielder/outfielder Oscar Tejeda has returned to the Red Sox organization, and Portland appears to be his destination.

Minor league spring training games just began this past week, so the definite Sea Dogs roster won’t be known for weeks.

WHILE OWENS, Betts and Vazquez won’t be in uniform for the Sea Dogs, they will make a Hadlock appearance this season – in bobblehead form.

The team announced those three players will be “honored” in bobblehead doll giveaways this year: Vazquez on June 2, Owens on July 20 and Betts on Aug. 11.