TCF Bank Stadium Begins Around The Clock Preps

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The Minnesota Vikings will be playing Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium.

Metrodome officials were hoping damage repairs at the Dome would be fixed in time for Monday’s game, however, they informed the NFL that just wasn’t going to be the case.

The damage to the Metrodome’s roof panels are “worse than hoped,” according to a release from the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which owns the Metrodome.

Scott Ellison, assistant athletic director for facilities at the University of Minnesota, said workers started removing snow from TCF Bank Stadium Tuesday, while a team of engineers and workers undertook a major inspection of damage to the collapsed roof at the Dome.

“Though we are extremely disappointed with the results of the assessment and the time it will take to replace the panels, our first priority is the safety and well being of the Vikings fans and players, the hundreds of youth sports, community and other groups that use the Metrodome throughout the year and our employees,” said president of MSFC Roy Terwilliger.

The schedule to return the Dome to full operations will be developed over the next several days.

A statement released by the team said they have turned their “full attention” to TCF Bank Stadium.

“We have been in close contact with the University and the NFL office since last weekend. Preparation of the stadium is fully underway and University officials have told us they will make every reasonable effort to ensure the stadium will be ready for Monday night,” the Vikings stated.

The team said ticket information for the Vikings-Bears game will be released soon. There is no word yet if alcohol will be allowed, but a regent at the university said he doesn’t expect the alcohol ban to be overturned for the Vikings game.

Seating could be another issue — though the university’s talking about putting up temporary bleachers on the west side during the game to help make up for the roughly 13,000-seating difference. The Metrodome has a seating capacity of roughly 64,000 while TCF Bank Stadium can only hold about 50,800.

There is still plenty of work to be done to get the outdoor stadium ready by game time. The university plans to hire 400 temporary employees to help and it’s possible they may look for volunteers for additional assistance. Still, the university released a statement saying it is excited to host the national game.

Given all the snow and other weather-related factors, it could take five days to prepare TCF for an NFL game, said Garry Bowman, director of athletic communications at the University of Minnesota — so time is of the essence.

Bowman said there are 20-inch-deep snow drifts throughout much of the TCF Bank facility, and much of it would have to be removed by workers with shovels rather than by plows that might damage the stadium’s floors.

Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley has said the team was determined to play Monday in Minnesota, after Sunday’s game against the New York Giants was delayed by a day and played in Detroit.

Inside the Metrodome, work crews were laying sheets of plywood on the field to keep it dry and using several hydraulic lifts as they began tearing down pieces of the torn roof. Pat Milan, spokesman for the Sports Facilities Commission, said that five experts from Birdair Inc., the Amhert, N.Y.-based contractor that built the roof, did a complete damage inspection Tuesday morning.

A Birdair inspection earlier this year found the roof’s overall condition was “good,” though it said that the inner lining of woven fiberglass — one of two layers that make up the roof — was dirty and in poor condition. Terwilliger said facilities officials at the Metrodome told his commission after the inspection that the roof had several more years left in it. The roof last gave way in April 1983 because of snow, forcing the postponement of a Minnesota Twins game.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

WCCO-TV’s James Schugel Reports



    • MarkoT

      yep. call me warm and sunny pal ;-)

  • shawn

    True but tailgating, Stubs an Herbs, Sally’s, etc would be fun. Also a pint of blackberry brandy would help keep ya warm as well hint hint. Just saying……..

    • eric

      blackberry brandy! that a boy!

      • Doug

        This is fantastic news – the Vikings are playing outside at the TCF Bank Stadium! Thank you so much U of MN. We really appreciate your efforts.

  • Mamma S.

    They may give up alcohol sales having it there but having it in Detroit and giving away tickets they are giving up much more!! At least it will still be at home. Best yet it will be outside, the way football is supposed to be played!!!

  • Mike

    Yeah the Vikings have been less than Ideal this year. But a fan who says sell the team is not a fan. Go cheer for the Lions Robert. Or Oakland if you want a California Team. MN Vikings belong in MN, win or lose.

  • Darci

    So you want the Vikings to up and leave? Do you realize what they do locally and state for the economy. So you would like to see them as the LA VIKINGS? LIke the LA LAKERS? Me and many other don’t think that would be good. If you are a TRUE FAN you weather though the ups and downs.

    • mattey

      No its been way too long these ups and down. GIVE THEM THE BOOT!!!

    • Purple Forever in MN

      Dear Matty,
      Have you ever looked at the economic impact that the Vikings have on this state.? 9 million in revenue each time they play. Plus approximatley 500 to 1000 people work on game day.

    • Ben B.

      True Fan ??? dig into your coiffers then and be one. Most in state are not any longer on the purple ship that’s sinking

  • PackerNation

    They should play the game in Green Bay…We don’t have a roof problem

  • Robert

    They wont make the economy bettet by making us buy a expensive new stadium for them to suck at football in. Sorry Vike fans, but your team will never win a superbowl and let you down every year. Maybe Minnesota just isnt ment for sports…

    • Viking Fan

      fantastick speling Robert

    • Sara

      Maybe spell check wasn’t meant for Robert

    • Mike W

      It’s spelled ‘meant’, Robert. And in case you weren’t aware, the Twins, Timberwolves and Wild are also Minnesota sports teams. Not to mention the college sports. Maybe you’re not meant to be a fan.

  • David

    Just pull the tarp off. Then the Vikings will have an OPEN AIR Stadium.

    • erik

      I agree! pull the tarp off and have at it! Then we’ll see just how much they like an outdoor stadium.

  • Nichole

    Your best bet is to probably stop running your mouth, find a new team and stay away from true fans. Complain all you like, but I’ll bleed purple and gold for life-win or lose. I have since I was a kid, and people like you are the reason we never get anywhere. Since when is being a “fan” criticizing every move the team makes, and disregarding anything good that happens? I bet you were the one cheering for them and hailing Favre last year up to the end, when you then said, “See guys, I told ya they sucked.” It’s pathetic.

  • Jean

    Also, wanted to toss in an opinion, the new stadium should absolutely be an outdoor stadium! That’s how real football is and always has been played. Open air is what the Vikings want and what the majority of fans want. It would eliminates $200 million off the project costs associated with a retractable roof. My fingers are crossed that the Dome can’t be repaired for Monday night and I am fortunate enough to attend outdoor football at TCF!!

  • Rob

    FYII… Robert is definitely a Packers Fanatic….

  • Vikings Fan

    Robert –

    Maybe you should just move to CA, since you are not a true Viking fan. You are a fair weathered fan and we don’t need your type.

  • Kevin Nelson

    So what is the feeling for granting the Dome to the Vikings now? I think it’s a bargain at $1.00

  • Robert

    I do live in California. hehe. And last year was impressive for them Vikes, I was cheering for the Patriots. And I very much dislike the Packers, which is why I feel bad for the Vikes, they are a talented team going nowhere, and the dome incident doesnt help.

  • not a fan

    trade ya Robert, the Vikes for an In-N-Out Burger location here in Mpls…

  • Robert



    I also am from Cali. If you Northerners are too stupid to see what an asset you have, send em our way. We will steal them from under ya just like we did your Lakers, SUCKAS!!!!!!

    • BostonBob

      No need to steal them – you get them for the cost of a stadium……SUCKA

      • LA VIKINGS!!

        We would love a New stylish stadium that we will fill everytime, Have fun with your sucky Dome. Maybe you can turn into a landfill dump. suckas

  • Derik Goodman

    Given that Birdair’s production/manufacturing is in Mexico, i’d say there is no chance of this thing being designed, engineered, manufactured, shipped and installed, and tested and proven safe by Monday.

    Birdair has had dome failures here before, along with the Georgia dome, Toronto’s dome, Vancouver’s conference center, the new Dallas Stadium, literally dozens of golf and tennis dome failures. It wasn’t a surprise to me that it collapsed, just a surprise that it stayed up that long.

  • Dan

    What about the rest of the infrastructure? When I walked through the dome I saw what looked like miles of pipes. I imagine they had water sewage and things like that in them. In this video I could see the breath of the people speaking. Is it below freezing? If so, what about the pipes, sinks, toilets, fire suppression, refrigeration, and the rest?

  • Tailgunner

    For all you Packer Pansies…You ain’t going to the playoffs…HAHAHA

  • Daniel



    I hope they play at the U of M. Cold football in the snow is the real deal. Bring it!

  • Hoss

    Soloution, Cut off the worthless ballon roof and lets play some football!!!
    The way the sport is supposed to be played outside in any weather for the most part.
    I mean cone on, The packers can suck it up and play in adverse weather so there is no reason that the Vikings cant do the same!!!
    So when it comes to playing in adverse weather the packers are better and ofcourse this season they are better but, thats a diffrent subject.
    The owners of the staduim and the owner of thi vikings should grow a pair and cut off the defective roof.

  • jiggs

    I agree the best soloution is to cut off the roof and lets play some football!!!
    The way the sport is supposed to be played outside in any weather for the most part.
    I mean cone on, The packers, bears, bronco’s, bills can suck it up and play in adverse weather so there is no reason that the Vikings cant do the same!!!
    The owners of the staduim and the owner of the vikings should grow a pair and cut off the defective roof and lets play football!!
    for the record no im not a packers fan.

  • TinHL

    They cant tear the roof off of the dome because they didnt use any stainless steel fittings, anywhere in the dump!!!
    Zygi should have taken the Anoka deal when he had the chance.

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