MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Ask any professional sports team that ever played in the Metrodome and they’ll probably tell you it isn’t an ideal venue.
Outside, the snow tells the story for our local baseball teams who want to play outside. The Metrodome is not known as a baseball palace, that is, unless you’re the Gophers or one of the high school or other college teams who didn’t have it available last year.
“It’s awesome, just awesome,” said Gopher baseball coach John Anderson. “We’ve been able to practice in here and we’ve had a few games. We’ve been in here since early February.”
The Metrodome is now the home for the Gophers again, and it’s exclusive. After last year’s scrambling following the Metrodome roof’s collapse and aftermath, they learned a lesson.
“Well if you study our history we’ve always gotten better as the year has gone along. Last year it never really seemed like we got much better just because of the lack of routine in your practice and preparation,” Anderson said.
It’s not about playing games, it’s about being able to practice in a place that has the space.
“It’s great for us to be in here practicing again. I think that’s one of the biggest things is we’ve had all spring to practice in here,” said catcher Kurt Schlangen. “Last year we were in the indoor football building, and you don’t get quite the same feel. As a pitcher, you’re throwing off mounds in the cages.”
So even in the Vikings are successful in landing a new stadium, the Gophers are hoping the Metrodome stays for their program and for baseball in Minnesota.
“Because we play the season in the middle of February and until you get to April 1 you know that the climate is like here,” Anderson said. “If the Vikings find a stadium somewhere else, I hope we find some money to keep the place going. There’s over 300 amateur baseball games in here over that two month period of time.”