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Metrodome roof inflated, should be ready for football season [Photos]

After seven months of looking like a crater in downtown Minneapolis, the Metrodome is finally a dome again after stadium workers inflated the new roof this morning.

Though there are still repairs to be done, officials predict the stadium will be ready for play in plenty of time for the Vikings first home game.

Now let's wait and see if this lockout is over by then.

The stadium collapsed last December during one of the most epic snowstorms of the year, causing substantial damage. All told, the repairs will end up running a $22.7 million tab -- $18 million of which is for the roof alone.

Here's what $18 million worth of roof looks like, courtesy of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission:

Metrodome roof inflated, should be ready for football season [Photos]
Metrodome roof inflated, should be ready for football season [Photos]
Metrodome roof inflated, should be ready for football season [Photos]

Metrodome officials expect the Dome to be fully functional by August 1. The first public event is scheduled for August 20.

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