What Does Dome Collapse Do To Stadium Debate?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings’ long push for a new stadium has been stuck in neutral for more than a decade, but scary images of the Metrodome’s wrecked roof might accelerate the process.

While stadium workers started the cleanup and repair Sunday after a storm that brought 17 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 30 mph the day before, the Vikings left for Detroit, where their game against the New York Giants was moved by the NFL for Monday.

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission chairman Roy Terwilliger said he’s optimistic the roof can be repaired in time for the Vikings to host the Chicago Bears in their next scheduled home game on Dec. 20, giving workers eight days to replace three damaged panels and re-raise the Teflon roof.

Video: Watch The Dome Collapse

Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley declined to comment on how the collapse could affect the team’s push for a new facility. Their lease at the Metrodome runs through the 2011 season, and they’ve said they won’t renew it.

“We’ve worked particularly close with the Vikings over the last two or three years on plans and designs and steps and obviously it can’t help but call attention to the fact that the facility is 28 years old,” Terwilliger said. “It’s one of the oldest facilities in the NFL. There’s a problem when we run this risk of not being able to play a game, because it’s a huge economic hit to the team. But the policymakers will handles these issues.”

Giants chief executive and co-owner John Mara said he believes this “bolsters their argument why they need a new stadium. For this to happen nowadays is pretty incredible,” he said.

State leaders have said there’s little they can do for the team until they solve a $6 billion plus deficit. The Vikings are working on a new proposal to present to the Legislature after the session begins in January. They’ve been contacted by two Los Angeles-based groups interested in bringing an NFL team to the nation’s second-largest market, but so far they’ve said they remain “committed to finding a solution in Minnesota.”

The Vikings previously pledged roughly one-third of the cost for a new stadium, estimated at $700 million or far more depending on the model and the site, but they’ve had difficulty getting traction on public funding to pay for the rest.

Gov.-elect Mark Dayton stopped by the Metrodome Sunday morning to “make a quick assessment for future decisions,” his spokeswoman Katie Tinucci said, without elaborating. She said Dayton wanted to thank the workers for their cleanup efforts, and he described the scene inside as “eerie.”

Tinucci said it was too early for Dayton to comment on how the collapse could affect the team’s desire for a new stadium, but Dayton supported the concept during his campaign. He has said he’d support a stadium proposal if the public benefits outweigh the public’s cost, without being specific.

There’s a lot of work to be done at the dome before the next scheduled game on Dec. 20, considering the scene inside the cold, darkened stadium following the 5 a.m. collapse.

Snow plopped onto the artificial turf through a gaping hole above the 30-yard-line, as a piece of the Teflon-coated fiberglass roof roughly 10 yards long flapped in the wind. It glowed eerily in the sunlight dangling not far above the field. Speakers that hang from the roof were still safely above the seats and the field.

The seats sit low enough that it appears people would have been out of harm’s way had the roof fallen during a game

“I don’t see any real impact on the seating,” MSFC director of facilities and engineering Steve Maki said.

Maki said he was coordinating with the original manufacturer and installer of the material, Birdair Inc. of Amherst, N.Y., on a plan to fix the roof. It has now fallen four times, all due to heavy snow, since the stadium opened nearly 30 years ago. But the last time was 27 years ago — when a collapse in April 1983 forced postponement of a Twins baseball game. Terwilliger said this was the worst of the collapses.

“This just came very fast. It was heavily loaded, and the wind was just unbelievable,” said Maki, who halted the snowmelt process and called his crew down from the roof Saturday night out of concern for their safety. “It almost knocked me on my rear end.”

The heat inside was turned up, and hot air was pumped between the roof’s layers, but that wasn’t enough to keep it from giving out.

“There were no injuries, which we’re thankful for,” said Bill Lester, the MSFC’s executive director.

The game between the Vikings and Giants had already been postponed by 31 hours, after Saturday’s blizzard kept the Giants from getting to Minneapolis on time. They stayed the night in Kansas City instead.

The city got 17.1 inches of snow during the storm that started Friday night and ended around 10 p.m. Saturday, said James McQuirter, a National Weather Service meteorologist. He said the storm was one of the five largest to hit the Twin Cities. Some surrounding communities got more than 21 inches of snow, McQuirter said.

The Metrodome roof is 10 acres of Teflon-coated fiberglass that is supported by 20 90-horsepower fans. It weighs roughly 580,000 pounds. Maki said they keep some replacement fabric in stock with Birdair, and that the MSFC has received offers of extra material from officials in Syracuse, N.Y., and Detroit.

Maki said he didn’t anticipate any problem with the cleanup of the turf or the rest of the stadium. It’ll just be a matter of getting that white, puffy roof up again to cover the field and frame the east side of the city’s skyline.

“I remain optimistic, but we’ll have to wait and see,” Maki said.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. packerhater says:

    The people in MN are very stupid indeed.They will let the Vikings walk and in 10 years or so get a new team and pay over 10x the cost that it will take now to keep them here.Lakers , North Stars anybody?

    1. Wisdom says:

      THE SOONER THE VIKINGS LEAVE MINNESOTA, THE BETTER!

      1. vcolson says:

        $100 says you were the last picked at kickball.

      2. Mark says:

        Well Said Wisdome

  2. Kwai Chang Caine says:

    They let the roof collapse on purpose to fuel the debate!, We get the point!

    1. Peter says:

      It is entirely possible that MSFC’s actions hastened, or even occasioned, the collapse. I haven’t yet seen any detailed explanation of the mechanism of collapse.

      Personally, I’d be glad if they left. If you need to build your self-construct around a sports franchise, you can leave with them. There are plenty of more worthy and worthwhile areas of human endeavor to which the state can apply its attention.

      1. NFL in MN says:

        Peter, nothing provides more excitement to more people than NFL football. It is what America is about, and Im sorry to let you know you are in the minority.

      2. Frank says:

        Nfl guy, america is about freedom, rights and a whole lot of important stuff, not football. Football is just one of the bread and circuses distracting us from real issues. Don’t get me wrong a good game once in a while may be ok, but what about the issues that really matter?

      3. Cool J says:

        Frankapotammus,
        Sometimes you need a little feel goods in life like football to distract us from all what is wrong in the World. I sure dont want to let go of something that makes me the happiest. Thanks Frank

      4. vcolson says:

        Move to Sioux Falls, Peter.
        It’s plenty cold, and I heard they just built a new a human endeavor facility.

      5. ask4j says:

        Amen! Well said and WE ARE NOT IN THE MINORITY!!!!!!!! If a vote were ever allowed during Polenty’s reign, this would be abundantly evident. What America is about is NOT taxing the poor to pamper the elite!

  3. New Stadium is going to happen says:

    Goog News Everyone, we are getting a new stadium. When the governor elect calls the situation eerie, its gonna happen. You cant hold a NFL game with 60,000 people and have the roof collapse at a moments notice. We live in MN and snow happens all the time. Its no longer a suitable option to play in the Metrodome.

    1. Wisdom says:

      The situation is not eerie, Mark Dayton is eerie.

      1. bridget says:

        I agree Dayton is VERY eerie but he has said on video that he wants a new stadium. And when have you ever seen a spoiled rich kid who didn’t get his way? He’s bought elections for crying out loud!! If he wants a stadium, he will get it!!

    2. Mark says:

      Dayon being elected means nothing and it is not a done deal unlike dayton other elected officials know where the money could be used like public safter and health and jobs.

  4. sosad says:

    Is this a surprise? Of course not. Remember the bridge 35. My house is sinking, the house inspector told me this normal in Minnneapolis. The city of Minneapolis (I bought the house from it) proposed me to fix few items, that do not include the basement with large cracks. So before I lose my family and myself, I am leaving the house, this is gonna give 10 years without credit.

  5. Stadiumhater says:

    I am tired of everyone saying the public should fund it because they’ve the other stadiums. We were never given an option! If you people think they should have a new stadium then you fund it! They have never won a Super Bowl! At least the Twins have won 2 world series even if the last one was 20 years ago!

    1. econ 101 says:

      i bet you will be complaining when the team leaves and takes all the tax generating money with them….

      1. PolySci 101 says:

        If there really was a net benefit for taxes they would be screaming the numbers at the general public. All we hear is silence.

      2. Wisdom says:

        Like the Vikings are going to solve or even make a dent in our fiscal problems? Maybe if we spent less (on the Vikings) we wouldn’t be 6 Billion Dollars in the red. And now you want us to spend another 1 Billion Dollars on the Vikings? What planet are you from?

  6. build it says:

    If you build it they will come… make it 80,000 capacity! KC sells out and they dont have near the population we do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. vcolson says:

      You’re one exclamation point short from really driving it home that you’re excited. .

    2. ask4j says:

      Get the picture “we” the majority don’t want it!

  7. John K says:

    80 year wait for Packer Season Tickets. This can happen in Minnesota as well.. lets get this done already.

  8. Dump the Dome says:

    Where will the Vikes play next Monday nights game against the Bears ?
    Seems like a long shot that it’s fixed by then…

    1. Wisdom says:

      How about the TCF Bank Stadium?

  9. Ben Witz says:

    You know… my employer can’t go to the voters to ask for tax money to build a new office building. The Vikings are nothing more than an American for-profit corporation, no different than Wal Mart or H&R Block. Their sole purpose is to make money. If they want to make money and run as a business, they need to figure out how to pay for their work places like any other corporation does.

  10. Sam I am says:

    Problem is your employer doesnt bring people to their TV sets every Sunday for NFL games. Your employer isnt exciting, and thats what people want.

    1. DerWitz says:

      Sam, Exactly! Roman Emperor Juvenal said “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt!” You are Right! Sports fans are like chattel………they can be lead around by the noses and will always follow what the TV tells them.
      Congratulations on being so ummmmmm smart?

  11. nostatemoneyforbillionaires says:

    If they build a new stadium I hope it seats about 100000 so then all of those whining the state should have to build a stadium will have to put their money where their mouth is to watch a game

  12. 100k All Day says:

    The vikings sellout their 60,000 venue every game. Selling out 100,000 would be no problem.

  13. Stacy Frampton says:

    Its pretty obvious the dome is no longer a long term option.

  14. Dome=Dangerous says:

    Has anybody seen the cracks in the columns at the Metrodome?? sit in the upper level rows 25+ and you will see what I mean.

  15. Diane says:

    why not put a movable roof on the dome?

  16. mike K says:

    @Diane. the metrodome was constructed in 1979. Putting a retract on the dome isnt smart. Thats like putting a sunroof on your 1983 Reliant.

  17. Brian says:

    LET THEM LEAVE. There a FARM team at best.

    Unemplyment, foreclosures, scools being closed are you people serious.

    GET YOUR PRIORITIES IN ORDER

    1. Seanny says:

      Farm teams dont make it to the NFC championship. Im not sure what you are smoking. Even Detroit a much worse off city can build a nice venue for their lowly Lions.

      1. Derex says:

        Holy concise data bamtan. Lol!

    2. DocCozy says:

      Thank You! You are Correct………….I’m convinced that most sports fans are like Heroin addicts………they’d sell their mother to keep on the needle. Sad commentary on our “culture?”……….if that word fits?

      1. Far Left says:

        DocMoron, you arent liberal are you?

      2. Diggity says:

        Since you bring up the term “liberal”, I thought it would be interesting to point something out. The stadium debate is one area where philosphies seem to be flipped. Most self described “conservatives” I know (aka Republicans), are for taxpayer money being used to fund a stadium for a community. Most self described “liberals” I know (aka Democrats) are against taxpayer money being used. It’s like bizzaro world. Up is down and down is up!

        So, if you’re a Republican and you’re for the stadium…. that’s OK. Virtually nobody is 100% committed their ideology. Just remember next time you complain about your taxes, that in at least one case, you do support public funding for something that is not a “Basic” government function.

        I am a Vikings fan, but I think the argument against makes more sense. They are a for-profit organization. Yes, the community values the team, but then where do you draw the line? My community doesn’t have a movie theater. Should the state fund 2/3 of a new AMC movie theater in my neighborhood? It would cost 1/1000th of a stadium, and it would provide entertainment to the community 365 days a year. No, I don’t think they should.

      3. Minnesota says:

        Doc Cozy you my friend have bigger issues than one might like to admit ? so why don’t you just tie it off and and relax a llittle bit???

      4. bridget says:

        Kind of like Obamatrons?

  18. Brian says:

    LET THEM LEAVE. There a FARM team at best.

    Unemplyment, foreclosures, scools being closed are you people serious.

    GET YOUR PRIORITIES IN ORDER…shocking

  19. ross in stcloud says:

    Lets just give them their stadium already. I dont want to hear any more whining.

  20. SteveinStPaul says:

    Brian you have it right. It’s just a football team. Let’s take care of the people around here FIRST. If the team cannot provide a place to play in then maybe they better look closer at the amount of money that is being wasted on the players.

    1. Kaylea says:

      It’s much easier to undersatnd when you put it that way!

  21. Fingers Crossed says:

    crossing my fingers they can figure out financing for a new stadium. I think if they get together and divide it up between new taxes, state run video gaming, license plates, fans, hotel tax, etc they can do it…. hell, make the Wilfs pay for 40% instead of 33%. Lets work together to keep the Vikings in this state, How boring will this state be in the Winter without NFL football. Come on guys.

    1. E says:

      Make that pig pay 50% if not more.

  22. Tom says:

    No public money for private business!! We are still waiting to see if any gratitude will be offered by Wall Street for their bailout. “JOBS” Politicians should be cautious about promising public funds. The state is deep in the red and personal incomes are already overstretched to meet basic needs!!
    If the Vikings go packing, they will be missed; for awhile.

  23. Chantal says:

    Take my $$, a few extra dollars isnt going to kill me. I would rather pay more and keep the team here. Lets take a vote.

    1. Terry says:

      Then pay more Chantal. The Vikes can setup a “charity” fund for people like you to chip in to pay for the stadium.

      As for the rest of us, we don’t want to pay for a business that could operate without taxpayer funding if they actually planned for it.

  24. Dave says:

    from a quick poll, it looks like most people on here are Pro-Stadium. thats good news for a Vikes fan like me!!

  25. plan B says:

    I say we rip off the top of the dome and play in it for 5 years. By then we can promise them a new stadium, and plan well in advance for it.

  26. E says:

    Why should we have to pay for the vikings stadium? They make millions of dollars a year, while I make less than 25 thousand. Let them pay for thir own %$#% stadium. They can’t even win and they want to raise my taxes for a stadium?

    1. AEIOU and sometimes Y says:

      because if you make 25k a year, you wont be paying anymore. you will be protected with many handouts and tax breaks from the democrats.

  27. Joke! says:

    Who the hell can afford a ticket? Are we looking for an open air stadium? Seems they have one now, go with it! I bet the Gopher campus has a site you can use!

  28. BINGO says:

    Add more seats to TCF and put a retracable roof and BINGO. you save money and have a facility that BOTH teams can use. WIN-WIN

  29. Paul Tantler says:

    Git R dun

  30. PJ says:

    On average it costs $1,260,000 to run 20 90-horsepower electric motors for a year. What are the operating costs of the dome per year? Time for a more energy efficient green stadium.

  31. Local Please says:

    when they construct the stadium, make sure all the jobs stay in MN. all the materials come from MN. All the workers come from MN. then the workers will get taxed and any money they make will most liekly be spent on other MN businesses. Keep it local and we will be ok.

  32. Another fanatical fan??? says:

    Too much snow? Dome can’t hold up? Who really cares? Just move. It’s only football. And if statistics are correct, most only see the event on TV anyway. What difference does it make where they are playing? Save Minnesota tax payers from financing another stadium for rich owners. Sew up the rip, re-inflate the dome or just move the team away. Oh and did I say. It’s only football.

    1. Frank says:

      Ditto, rich owners, buy ur own stadium

  33. Frank says:

    I say if the vikings want a new stadium, they should pay for it themselves.

    1) each player makes millions, or at least more than joe taxpayer.
    2) ticket prices are high

    Alternately, let the fans who really want to support the vikes pay for it.

    It should not be taxpayer funded. I don’t watch sports, could care less. The vikings being here gives me no benefit. So I as Frank taxpayer should not have to fund their stadium.

    If they wanna leave, let’em. Anyway, whoever heard of the florida vikings? California? Iowa? Maybe rhode island?

  34. danny J says:

    Once the vikings leave, you can’t just create a new team. The vikings are an asset, why do u think LA is trying so hard to get them from us?? Words can’t describe the economic benefit of an NFL team in this state.

    1. Frank says:

      You’re right. $8 for a hot dog and a soda really benefits the economic stability of MN.

  35. Marty says:

    The stadium isn’t an issue. It would probably be cheaper though to build a regular roof then replace the whole stadium. Ford Field in Detroit has an actual roof as opposed to an inflatable one. And yes, the owners should pay for it. We’re only just now pulling out of the Second Great Depression, and the taxpayers don’t want to pay for it.

    As for getting the NFL back to L.A., the Jaguars seem more likely to move. Jacksonville is too small of a market to support an NFL team anyway.

  36. reply to frank says:

    Frankie-

    Players get traded all the time. If money wasnt spent on players, the team would never be competitive.

    #2 tickets were as low as $3, yes $3 american dollars on stubhub(secondary market)

    Id get your facts right before you open your yap.

  37. Minnesota says:

    The Metro Dome served its purpose?? its garbage.. let it go ?? build a new stadium !!!!

  38. Angry says:

    The Minnesota Vikings Suck!?!?!!? What a junk team !!! and they think they should get a new stadium ya right ???

  39. jj hopps says:

    The Vikings have one of the highest winning pct. than ANY other team in football. Look it up dude

  40. James says:

    I say hose it down with a million gallons of water or so during the next big snowstorm, call it a “safety measure” and then let it collapse under the weight of the snow and ice and water. All we need now is a snowstorm big enough to make people believe it collapsed the dome on its own. If we have to “help” it by spraying water on the roof, so be it…

    Never mind the fact that the roof has held many more inches of snow than the 17″ that fell this weekend in the history of the dome, never mind that it was holding the weight of the snow with no problems whatsoever all day saturday, even after the storm was over.

    Hacks. Where’s the media on this???????

  41. Minnesota says:

    Its a garbage dumpster let the piece of garbage collapse on itself!!!

  42. Billy Grahm says:

    I’m just glad no one got hurt praise Jesus !!!

  43. Mike says:

    Why not just take the roof off and let everyone sit outside in the cold. That’s what they want isn’t it?

  44. Billy Grahm says:

    WWJD the lord is the ultimate word!!!

  45. Billy Grahm says:

    praise JESUS !!!!!! and his loving father our lord god!!!

  46. Billy Grahm says:

    as I walk thu the shadows of death I will fear no evil!! praise my GOD!!

  47. Harry Koch says:

    Frank….Have you taken your medication today???

  48. Jonathan Ta says:

    Putting all political views aside, one would have to be either naive or ignorant to believe that the Vikings are not a big part of this community. Tens of thousands of people in the state will support the Vikings no matter if they win or lose because they’ve been born and raised supporting them. Personally, I was not born here, but I can say with confidence that the Vikings are one of the first things I was able to connect with as I was adapting to my new home. The Vikings are HUGELY symbolic of our state, and them leaving would be like moving Hollywood out of California or the Space Needle out of Washington. With that being said, I also do not believe that we as taxpayers should pick up the entire tab for the stadium. The team needs to chip in as well, and DEFINITELY more than the 33% figure that I see being thrown around. The simple fact is, though, that this team is an asset to our community, and if they are allowed to leave, we will see repercussions in the community as well as the loss of revenue the team brings.

  49. D says:

    I would hate to see them go, and I sympathize with the people whose lives are affected by the business the Vikes draw. But as an outstate taxpayer who has only gone to one game in my life I dont want to foot the bill for yet another benefit to the Metro. You all say it yourselves how they are benefiting your communities. Then let your communities pay for them. I already owe on two other stadiums that I cant afford to go to. That and my tax dollars that go to adding an extra lane to 494 or something while my roads should have been repaieed years ago. I am sick to death of paying my taxes to benefit the metro while my communtiy has to cut services such as a police force because of a lack of state funding. Again you all reap the benefits, you guys pay for it. My life will go on whether they are here or not.

  50. Jean says:

    To those of you who say the Vikings leaving don’t affect you at all: you obviously have no idea the amount of revenue to the state the team generates. If they leave, it will affect you. You’ll help make up for the $20+ million in tax base that will be lost every year we don’t have a team, THINK how happy you’ll be about that you smart taxpayers! Also I’m sure you have NO idea that the state of Minnesota has invested $50 million in professional sports over the years and generated $450 million in tax revenue from it. The return on investment (ROI) is there. Still don’t care?

    1. Romby says:

      What a great resocrue this text is.

  51. vcolson says:

    It was the PACKERS! The Packers did it!
    The only thing we can do now is take a page out of Bush’s defense strategy and go attack the BEARS!

  52. D says:

    So if they are generating so much profit, let them pay for the new stadium. DOn’t talk to me about the tax benefits to the state to me, when the state is broke and cant even afford to provide basic services decently to its citizens, of course you all in the metro don’t see that, because God forbid if you all had to tough it for any length of time. Whether or not they are here, I still have to get up and go to work in the morning. And all this income tax you talk about… Unless they claim residency in this state, we don’t see that large of a percentage. As someone who claimed residency in Minnesota while having to work in another state, and renting a dwelling there… Only 6% went to the state in which I worked. The rest went to Minnesota. So again unless they claim residency here in state, its their HOME states that get the benefits of their large multi-million dollar contracts.

  53. Jean says:

    D – Not sure if that was directed to my comment or not, but regardless I’d like to point out that my comment has nothing to do with team profit or player salaries- reread to see that I stated $20 million per year, in tax revenue to the STATE OF MINNESOTA.

  54. looper says:

    You can NOT DENY the tax benefits of having a professional football team in the state. Flush your damn pride down the toilet and wise up block heads. Why do you think LA wants the team so bad?? The team can ask for public assistance for the stadium BECAUSE THEY CAN. Stop being so stupid and wake up

  55. Rob Wagner says:

    I’m for the stadium, but the Vikings suck, I think they should make them play with the roof off. Go Twins!!!

  56. Emlee says:

    Would someone please detail for me the big $$ benefits being proclaimed for having the Vikings in MN? What does it pay for? Where is it coming from and going to?
    I’m talking about benefits for us who don’t live in the Metro. If we come to a game, seems all our $$ stay in the Metro, and are taken away from our local communities. And no, I cannot afford to bring my family to a game—it’s not just tickets, it’s food, lodging, transportation, parking. We don’t have cable TV. We spend our Sunday afternoons in interesting, active pursuits to encourage fitness and reduce health care costs. I won’t pay my hard-earned $$ to watch a bunch of overpaid spoiled brats play a war game. And yes, I have gone to one Vikings game – at the old outdoor stadium.
    Any new stadium should be paid primarily by the private entity it benefits. And it has to be a covered stadium—we used to bring a bunch of students to Twins games and can no longer do that—paying for bussing, meal, staff and not being guaranteed the game will actually happen due to weather in MN April & May. The only % of the stadium to be paid by public funds should be the % needed to have the MSHSL football championships in November and any truly public-benefit events. If they think we have to have a new one, I like the idea of a fund that those who support a new stadium can contribute to.
    What is the true cost to having pro sports vs the supposed benefits? Let’s get out and watch local HS & community sports, cultural events, participate in fitness activities rather than feeding addictions (beer) and living our lives through someone else’s performance.

  57. Ernie Watson says:

    I vote to leave the roof off and put some REAL grass, eh sod and dirt down on that floor. This may be just as cheap(or expensive) as flying people in to “fix” the balloon.

    Give the property to the Vikes and let them build additional seats above the current stuff, make Sky boxes, and suites to whatever they feel like……Let’s play outdoor football again!!!

  58. D says:

    I guess I could be reasonable and compromise. We as taxpayers should give them $100million dollars, towards the new stadium, for every Super Bowl they have won in the past 50 years. I think that’s fair.

  59. Bye Bye Vikings says:

    All i have to say is Bye Bye Vikings take your footnall and run away becausce you dont get your way. Your performances show how much you deserve a new stadium. You will not be missed!!!!

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