SBD/Issue 73/Facilities & Venues

Metrodome Official Downplays Talk Of Vikings Playing '11 At TCF

Vikings Hosted "MNF" Matchup Against Bears At
TCF Bank Stadium After Metrodome Roof Collapsed

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Exec Dir Bill Lester “refuted a report by ESPN on Sunday that his organization is assessing the viability of the Vikings playing the 2011 season outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium,” according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Lester confirmed that the MSFC is “assessing the damage done to the Metrodome and its roof from when the ceiling collapsed.” But he said, "That is all we're doing. There has been zero discussion of playing the 2011 season outside and zero discussion of not having the stadium ready for the 2011 season." Lester said that the MSFC has “had no discussions with the NFL or the Vikings about the team playing the 2011 season anywhere other than the Metrodome and that both parties have been told the stadium will be ready.” He added it is "premature to comment" on whether a new roof might be considered. Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley “recently voiced concerns about the safety of the Metrodome, but he did not want to go into any detail Sunday.” Asked if there was a scenario under which the Vikings might not play in the Metrodome in '11, Bagley said, "No, I'm saying we have concerns about the safety and the viability of that structure going forward" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/27). ESPN’s Chris Mortensen in the original report cited sources as saying that the MSFC is “assessing the viability of playing the 2011 season outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium.” The commission will "deliver its findings to the Vikings in late January or early February.” Sources said that Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf after reviewing the findings “will make a decision in consultation with the NFL on whether to play the 2011 season at the Metrodome or TCF Bank Stadium” (ESPN.com, 12/26).

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