SBD/December 16, 2010/Facilities

Metrodome Suffers Another Blow As Fourth Panel Of Roof Rips

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Hopes To Have Stadium Ready For Late January Events

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission spokesperson Patrick Milan said that the Metrodome, "whose roof collapsed during last weekend's snowstorm, suffered another blow Wednesday evening when a fourth panel of the roof ripped, likely due to the heavy ice and snow that still blankets much of the deflated dome," according to Paul Levy of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. All repair work was "suspended until officials could evaluate the new damage Thursday morning." Before the latest collapse, MSFC Exec Dir Bill Lester said that he "couldn't predict with any precision when the roof will be fixed." Lester "hopes to have the Dome ready for a Monster Jam truck pull on Jan. 22 and TwinsFest, Jan. 28-30" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/16). Lester said that he is "eager to get the dome's collapsed roof fixed." Lester: "They're trying to relieve the ice pressure in the panels that are still up. In the next two or three days, we'll have a specific plan for how long it will take." In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman notes the MSFC "has insurance on the roof and property that could pay for the losses the Vikings might face by not being able to play the Giants and Bears in the dome" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/16). Twins President Dave St. Peter said he "remains fairly confident the Metrodome will be able to host TwinsFest." But he acknowledged that the club also is "looking for an alternate venue." St. Peter: "If we have to find another venue, we will do so. It's a little too early to be going down that path" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/16).

RETRACTING EARLIER COMMENTS: The Vikings retracted comments made yesterday by a team official that the MSFC is fully responsible for the loss of revenue caused by the collapse of the Metrodome roof. Vikings VP/Public Affairs Lester Bagley said the issue remains unresolved. Bagley: "The comments about MSFC were miscommunicated. We are looking into those issues and there will be a full analysis of the economic impact of the collapse of the roof. We are not ready for any conclusions." The Vikings are tenants in the Metrodome, which is owned by MSFC. Both entities carry business interruption insurance (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED ... Minnesota state Sen. Julie Rosen yesterday said that she plans to "introduce a bill in late January to build a new Vikings stadium with public subsidies," and she "hinted that there might be some movement on finding a local government partner to help finance the stadium." Rosen said that the "proposal 'might be very similar' to a plan that stalled in the Legislature last spring." That proposal "relied in part on diverting sales tax money now being used for the Minneapolis Convention Center once the convention center's debt was repaid." Rosen said that "poor timing likely sealed the proposal's fate last spring" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/16).

L.A. STORY: Showtime's Michael Lombardi said a move by the Vikings to L.A. is "tied to the collective bargaining agreement.” Lombardi: “ Every NFL team right now that has a bad stadium deal is certainly eyeing the Los Angeles market. Two teams could certainly work there. It would be ideal for an established team; expansion's not going to work in Los Angeles. … The San Diego Chargers, for example, has always been rumored to go there. They're potentially selling part of their team to a Los Angeles group. L.A.'s a desirable market, but until the owners get a collective bargaining agreement with the players so they can then finance the stadium, that's not going to happen” ("Inside The NFL," Showtime, 12/15).

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