MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The first Vikings home game takes place in mid-September, but there was a game-day feel downtown Saturday. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission held an open house at the Metrodome to celebrate the completion of the new roof and turf.
From the outside, it looks like little has changed at the dome, but from the inside, you can’t miss the difference.
“It’s a lot brighter in here, a lot brighter. That’s the first thing you notice,” said Keith Connett.
Nine months after the roof collapsed in the December blizzard, fans like Connett finally returned to the dome.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity to see the field and renovated dome,” Connett said.
For Connett’s family, it was an all access opportunity to an area that’s typically off limits.
“I was surprised it was not real grass. It feels a lot bigger when I run across,” said fourth grader Aubrey Connett.
For thousands of others, the open house was a chance to hold a piece of history. Pieces of the dome’s old roof went home with the first 3,000 visitors. The Hansen’s waited in line for hours to get one of the special Teflon squares.
“I like it. I’d like to pass it on to my kids eventually one day. I’ve been in the old dome, they’ll never see it,” said Jennifer Hansen.
For the youngest fans, the new turf was the perfect playground to dream of a career as a professional athlete. Many youngsters spent the afternoon playing a pick-up game of football down on the 30 yard line.
For older fans, the new field and new roof gave the upcoming season with a sense of hope.
“I’m really excited. Just hoping the Vikings can get chemistry,” Andy Rosebur said.
During the off season, the Metrodome plays host to many other events, like monster truck shows, concerts and high school tournaments. Some of those events were also featured at the dome Saturday.