MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This weekend marks the final days of the Metrodome.
Sunday will be the final time the public is allowed inside before demolition begins to make way for a new stadium.
Over the next two days, sports fans will have opportunities to get one last look inside the building.
The Metrodome has long provided the backdrop to Minnesota sports history.
Over three decades, fans have cheered our teams after World Series wins.
They’ve felt the defeat of disappointing losses and even watched as weather interrupted a season when heavy snow brought down the dome.
This Sunday, fans will mark the building’s final chapter when the Vikings take on the Detroit Lions, but access into the game won’t be easy. After a less than stellar year, Vikings fans who sell off late season tickets realized the importance of the last game of the year.
“Now, all the sudden, it dawned on those people it is the last game of the Metrodome,” said Michael Nowakowski, owner of TicketKing.
Instead of non-stop calls, the phones at TicketKing are fairly quiet. Fans aren’t willing to part with a pass to witness the end of an era.
“In the 25 years, I’ve been in business, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Nowakowski said.
The appeal isn’t just the game, but the events that reach beyond the field.
“We’re putting in a post-game ceremony with former Vikings and Adrian Peterson,” said Jeff Anderson of the Minnesota Vikings.
The memorable moments are also meant to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.
The final game at the Metropolitan Stadium ended with a loss not just for the team but also for fans.
Dozens were injured as spectators rushed the field, tried to take seats and brought down the goal posts
“We don’t expect issues, but we want a plan in place, just to be safe,” Anderson said.
Moving forward also means looking back for a fitting ending to a 31-year run.
“We fully expect it to be a memorable weekend,” Anderson said.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission is taking a no-tolerance policy on anyone who tries to sneak any souvenirs out of the building on Sunday.
There will also be extra security officers on sight. Anderson says between Whalen security officers and off-duty Minneapolis police, there will be roughly 700 officers at the dome. That’s compared to the normal staff of 500.