MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — One of the last scars of our brutal winter is finally gone. The Metrodome roof is back up.

Heavy snow from a December blizzard caused the dome’s roof to cave in, but just a few hours ago, crews in Minnesota were able to inflate the new roof — along with patching a hole that’s been in the city’s skyline.

Stadium officials and construction workers had 20 fans ready to pump air into the dome. They started the process with 12 then went to just six. Going forward, only two or three fans will maintain the pressure.

Chief engineer Steve Maki says the process was problem-free.

“I guess I’m a little surprised it went as well as it did, because you always think of what could be the worst thing that could happen,” he said. “So I guess I’m pleasantly surprised that it all went well and I’m glad for it.”

The process to raise the roof was said to take about three hours, but in reality, it only took about 45 minutes.

Now the work begins to get the inside ready. Crews also started to pull back the wood that protected the turf, while the roof was deflated. But for those who work there everyday, after seven months things are starting to feel normal again.

Officials hope to have everything cleaned up and ready to go by Aug. 20, when the Sports Commission will host an open house.

Most of the construction work should be done by Aug. 1, which will trigger a $500,000 bonus for Amherst, N.Y.-based contractor Birdair Inc., the company that designed and installed the original roof. The entire project cost $22.7 million, including $18 million for the roof itself, and it’s covered by the MSFC’s insurance.

The artificial turf was also damaged when the roof broke open and snow poured in, and that might have to be replaced, too, but Maki said that work, if necessary, would be done by Aug. 18.

The Vikings will play their first home preseason game on Aug. 27, assuming the NFL lockout is over.

Vikings vice president for public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley said the team is appreciative of the work.

“Viking football is on the way, and we’re going to get our home-field advantage back,” Bagley said.

The Vikings are seeking a new stadium, but that effort has been stymied in part by the state’s budget deficit and government shutdown.

“We’re going to need to raise revenue to do this, and there really hasn’t been a lot of synergy on how that would happen at this point,” Mondale said. “So we’re waiting. But we’re working. We’re being creative, and we’re being solution-focused. I think there’s still a pretty good shot that we’ll have a good proposal ready for the elected leaders to take a look at — and hopefully in the right timeframe.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (22)
  1. Todd Gabrielson says:

    The Minnesota Vikings have their new home! No need for the state to pony up billions just because Ziggy wants a Mercedes. I see potential with the metrodome when viewing it from above. Let’s go with the original plan to remodel the current dome, add some retail and restaurants around it, put in a Metro dome hotel that connects to the sight and then you have a first class operation. The days of spending billions for new stadiums are over.

    1. The Architect says:

      According to the proposal, the actual dollar amount Zygi Wilf would receive is exactly ZERO DOLLARS.

      The Metrodome can NEVER BE a 1st class operation. It is unsuitable for the times, and is among the oldest and most outdated facilities in THE COUNTRY.

      1. Historical Zygi says:

        If that’s the case, let’s declare it a historical landmark and consider it an honor that our beloved Vikings can play in such an historical site.


        If Zygi wants taxpayer money, let him apply for welfare like so many other Minnesotans.

  2. xxx says:

    Lets just leave everything alone, don’t spend any more money and go play football.

    1. Mr. MN says:

      The queens do suck! As of right now the dome has zero tenants.

  3. das says:

    I’d rather play football in…. I’d rather not play at all then play there.

  4. RW says:

    Sounds like a poor investment, that’s twice now.

  5. big donny says:

    the vikes lease is up so i say let them sign a lease to play there or do not let them play there no money for parking or any other things like thy got before

  6. Tom Willard says:

    Whoopee! That commercial longer than the video…and more interesting.

  7. Julie says:

    I don’t even like football, I have never been to a football game.
    I don’t want my tax money being funneled into a new stadium for these overpaid crybabies. They are rich enough, let them fund the whole bleepin thing themselves.

    1. grantb says:

      I don’t like the Gutherie or Mall of America…they should have built those themselves…


    2. The Architect says:

      The stadium would be for the state of MN and its citizens, not for any “overpaid crybabies” to which you refer.

      They would get a 0 stake in it, whereas the state would OWN IT.

      1. Homer says:

        Actually the state would NOT OWN IT. If it did own it, it would be able to collect direct revenue from it. The state only gets indirect revenue via taxes. Do you think Zigy and company are willing to give the state a 1/3 of the revenue? I don’t think so.

      2. John says:

        Wow are you dumb.

        Let’s put this in terms you can understand.

        The taxpayers would have less money.

        Zygi benefits financially so he would have more money.

        Here’s a diagram to help you:

        Taxpayers ——> $$$$ ——–> Zygi

  8. Slip it to us Ziggy says:

    Keep your hand on your wallet while you’re in the pooper because Ziggy will try to take it from you when you’re not expecting it.

  9. StraycatStrut says:

    I heard the Dome infated from all the HOT air over the budget / State Shutdown debate from St Paul.

  10. diane von furstenbuerg says:

    LIfe iinMinnesota must be pretty dull.

  11. barackobama says:

    Why not just let it be an open air stadium like football was intended and save all that money?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE