The same day that it released new video showing how the Metrodome's roof collapsed in the first place, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission has voted to replace the 10-acre roof rather than make repairs.
They're following the recommendation of a Texas engineering firm, Walter P. Moore.
The commissioners haven't provided a price tag, but estimates have run to about $18 million, and they say insurance ought to cover most of the expense. Their goal is to have the new roof in place by Aug. 1. The Minnesota Vikings quickly issued a statement supporting the decision -- with a caveat:[jump]
The Minnesota Vikings support the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission's (MSFC) decision to replace the Metrodome's damaged roof. We appreciate the MSFC's efforts to ensure a safe environment for all year-round users of the publicly-owned stadium, and we are pleased the Vikings will be able to play in front of our fans at Mall of America Field during the final season of the team's lease agreement.
The Vikings also want to be clear that the MSFC's decision to replace the roof is not a long-term stadium solution and does not change the urgency to build a new multi-purpose stadium for the State and the Vikings. The Metrodome still ranks at the bottom of the NFL in terms of revenue and fan experience. It is our intent to pursue the final passage of legislation during this year's legislative session to finance and construct a new stadium, and we are encouraged by the progress on that front.
The dome's collapse was caught in dramatic fashion by a Fox Sports camera positioned inside the dome the night of the Dec. 11-12 blizzard; a producer had a hunch the roof might cave in. (Video of the collapse here.) The sensational footage showed the roof sag, then burst open open not once but twice, and then deflate like a party balloon. No one was hurt in the debacle, but careful viewers noticed that a member of the dome's crew charged off the field in a forklift.
Scientific American recently dissected the collapse, compared the Metrodome to other, similar, facilities that were once popular as sports venues, and came to the conclusion that repairing the obsolete piece of architecture was a waste of money.