If ever there was a night for Canberra football fans to stay away, this was it.
Snow continued to fall in parts of Canberra on Saturday morning after the conditions sent football fans into a spin the night prior.
It is understood to be the first time snow has fallen during a senior VFL/AFL game in league history.
But 11,741 hearty souls still turned up to watch the Hawthorn Hawks keep the GWS Giants to their lowest score in club history as snow fell on Manuka Oval on Friday night.
Crowd numbers thinned in the second half but the fact so many turned up with such a forecast is a huge boost for the Giants' future in Canberra.
The Giants are locked in negotiations with the AFL and ACT government as they come to the end of their eighth season of a 10-year $23 million deal to play matches at Manuka Oval.
The bumper crowd in woeful freezing conditions suggests there is a groundswell of support strong enough to warrant another long-term extension and the potential of additional games.
MORE AFL NEWS
The snow in Canberra also set an unlikely scene for an AFL debutant. Rarely would Changkuoth Jiath have imagined one of the biggest days of his life panning out like this.
If an AFL debut a good drop punt away from Australia's political power base wasn't hard enough to fathom for the South Sudanese rookie, how about snow falling throughout?
A snowy Manuka Oval is far removed from the Ethiopian refugee camp in which Jiath was born to South Sudanese parents.
Well, in most cases.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson proved to be the outlier, getting around in shorts and a polo shirt after the final siren to show his players there was never anything to be worried about.
"We've got a young kid, CJ [Jiath], playing his first game. He was born in far different conditions to what we played in," Clarkson said.
"It's amazing that we've been playing this game for 100 years and it's the first time it has ever been played in snow. It just happens to be the day CJ plays his first game. He was born in Sudan of all places.
"That's why it was embraced by the coaching staff and all of his teammates. It's a different type of game, we don't play at this venue often, it's snowing, and we've got a kid playing his first game for our footy club.
"It doesn't happen in league footy in our country, and for the first time we were fortunate enough it happened in our game. For CJ to play his first game of AFL footy in conditions like that is a special story."
It was not quite the blizzard that engulfed Canberra Stadium when the Canberra Raiders hosted the Wests Tigers during an NRL game in 2000 - but it was memorable nonetheless.
Even for Giant Adam Kennedy despite his side slumping to a forgettable loss which dents their top four hopes.
"To be honest it would have been tougher for everyone who had come down to watch and weren't moving - at least we were running around," Kennedy said.
"It was actually pretty exciting. The crowd got really loud all of a sudden and it was before a lot of us players knew the snow was about to hit us.
"We were wondering what was going on, the crowd was starting to get really loud and there was no goals or anything. Then we started to feel the flakes on us."
While a handful of Giants pulled on long-sleeve jumpers, the Hawks didn't even have the option.
Clarkson has long been opposed to long-sleeve jumpers in a move that saw Chad Wingard ditch the jumper he had worn for the bulk of his career when he arrived at Hawthorn.
And just to lead from the front, Clarkson donned shorts on his way out to the quarter-time huddle.
"We haven't got long sleeves. If ever there was a chance they wanted to wear them, it was tonight," Clarkson said.
"The biggest risk for them getting cold is when they come to the interchange bench, strangely enough. Our guys loved the conditions, loved the camaraderie that unusual conditions like that brought for them.
"It was something that was special and different in our game."