‘Rollerdome’ Back In Business At The Dome

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than a month after a blizzard fell its roof, the Metrodome opened its doors Saturday night for public skating.

Hundreds had fun at the Rollerblade Rollerdome, but many couldn’t ignore the mess as dome repairs are still moving forward.

“I think it’s a great way to get some exercise on a cold winter Minnesota day and it’s just a lot of fun,” said participant Jill Halima.

Executive director of Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Bill Lester says he is anxious to get the rest of the Metrodome back on track.

“We’re excited to have at least part of the Metrodome back open back in business a month after the deflation the collapse of the roof,” said Lester.

He says testing done on the roof should be complete in weeks.

“They took five more samples from different panels to inspect them to test them at the laboratory we’re anticipating having the results of that analysis back by the end of the month following that we will be able to discuss the scope of the project total scope of the repair and schedule and a budget,” Lester said.

Lester says the commission will then have to decide whether to repair the roof or replace it.

Early estimate on replacing it tops $20 million.

“It surprised me at first. I didn’t know it looked like this. All the speakers are down, the flags down. Sad, too, “said Josh Meyer.

Meyer and his friends couldn’t wait to get their rollerblades on and travel around the concourse.

“I got two friends here rollerblading around. I love doing this. It’s really fun great way to get exercise, “said Meyer.

He and others took a break from the action and made a pit stop by suite 106 to get a look at what’s left of Mall of America Field.

“It’s shocking,” said Meyer. “I remember what it was and now it is a lot different.”

Although they are glad Rollerdome is back for its 20th year, most are concerned about what will become of the home of the Vikings.

Lester says city inspectors and fire marshals gave the OK for the public to use the concourse.

He hopes to let the public know soon which option, a patch job, a new roof or new stadium would be in the best interest for taxpayers.

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