MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The big dig is on.
Construction on a new Vikings stadium is well underway. In fact, it’s going so fast that the demolition of the old Dome could happen soon.
Mortenson Construction Company, the builder of the new stadium, has already removed 100,000 tons of dirt, creating a vast hole that is essentially a foundation for the new facility.
Workers are putting in the pilings to secure the outer perimeter.
All of this is in preparation for the last Dome event: the Vikings game against the Lions on Dec. 29.
Beginning Dec. 30, everything inside must go, and quickly.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, head of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), told WCCO recently that everything will be sold, or recycled.
“Everything has to be out of here before demolition begins,” Kelm-Helgen said.
Once everything is out, demolition begins Jan. 18.
The fabric dome will be deflated, a process that will take less than 30 minutes. And the walls will come down, in a circle east to west, counterclockwise.
For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, the Vikings will move into TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
The new facility will open in time for the 2016 NFL season.
Next week, the MSFA says it will unveil a plan to dispose of the 65,000 Metrodome seats, which are the among the most requested souvenir items from the Dome.