The Metrodome isn't going to be ready for play at least through March.
That means roughly 300 baseball games scheduled for the field in the next three months are going to be played elsewhere, says Bill Lester, Executive Director at Metropolitan Sports Facilities.[jump]
In the next few weeks, a Texas firm will be in town assessing the total damage, says Lester. The results should give the MSF a more precise timeline, but reconstructing the collapsed roof is sure to be a timely process.
After the assessment, the panels will have to be fabricated, shipped and installed, says Lester. He was not sure when the Dome will be fully operational again.
"The end of March is the time frame we know we have to not host events here," says Lester. "The rest of it, on the time frame, that is pending the assessment."
Lester says the Dome had scheduled about five baseball games a day between now and March. That includes 39 Gopher games, 252 small college games, and a "smattering" of high school.
Lester was not sure where the teams will play instead of the Dome.
"Baseball's tougher," he says. "I'm sure they'll find alternative ways to do it, but if you're going to play baseball in February in Minnesota, it's not going to be outside."
Update: With the Dome out of commission, the Gophers baseball team is uncertain of where they will place home games, says Gophers spokesman Steven Geller. The Gophers will communicate with opposing teams and work out alternate venues.
"With 32 games at the Metrodome the well-being of the facility obviously has a big impact on our program," says Gophers Head Coach John Anderson in a statement. "At this point, we are working with the opposing teams that are affected to make alternate arrangements. With the recent developments in this situation, we do not have any definitive answers regarding those plans. As soon as we finalize those arrangements we will release them publicly."
The Gophers also have 16 games scheduled in April and May. It's still unknown at this point on whether the Dome will be playable by then.
- At least nine Metrodome roof panels need to be replaced
- Metrodome Collapse: Roof panel shot down with gun
- Another Metrodome panel fails: Damage gets worse
- Metrodome Collapse: See photos of the aftermath
- Maintenance man escapes Metrodome collapse in fork lift
- Metrodome Collapse: Video from inside the stadium