Reporting Pat Kessler
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Only five home games remain on the Vikings schedule this year. And unless the Vikes go to the playoff, that’s how much time is left for the Metrodome.
The Dome will be torn down to make way for the Vikings’ new home. And it’s a very tight timeline between now and 2016, when the Vikes move into their new stadium.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, the head of the state commission overseeing new stadium construction, says people shouldn’t expect a dramatic, dusty knockdown in Feb. of 2014.
“They’re not going to do an implosion, they’re going to take it down section by section in a more traditional demolition fashion, so we don’t have a bunch of dust and dirt that’s kicked up all over the neighborhood,” Kelm-Helgen said.
First, the iconic dome roof is deflated and removed. Then the walls come down, section by section, starting at Gate B on the east side and moving in a westward circle.
The demolition process should take a month or less, even as new construction is already underway east of the Dome where parking lots now sit.
Kelm-Helgen says workers will swarm Mall of America Field on the day after the last Vikings game. They’ll remove everything that is and isn’t bolted down.
“Everything has to be out of here before the demolition begins,” Kelm-Helgen said. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries on the seats. Everything from the turf will be taken out, brand new roof, lots of material there. Lights, speakers, goal posts, all those things will be available.”
In Aug. 2014, the Vikes will move across town to TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank – and it is not an easy transition.
For one day a week, TCF Bank Stadium will transform from maroon and gold to purple. And for 2014 and 2015, the Vikes will add thousands of game-day bleacher seats and install a heated field in the outdoor venue.
By Aug. 2016, the $975 million Vikings stadium is scheduled for completion, just in time for the NFL preseason.