SBD/January 21, 2011/Facilities

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  • Vikings Preseason Games Could Be Impacted If Metrodome Roof Replaced

    Replacing Metrodome roof would take 5-6 months to complete

    The "winter punch that took down the Metrodome's roof is now threatening to mess with the start of the Vikings exhibition season in August," according to Mary Jane Smetanka of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. This week's "wind, snow and cold have hampered efforts to figure out whether the roof needs to be patched or replaced," and a "key engineering report to help determine whether the roof can be repaired is not expected for two weeks." Officials have previously said that the stadium "won't be usable through March." But Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Ted Mondale said, "If we need complete replacement of the roof, it will take five to six months." The MSFC "has told Dome users, including the University of Minnesota baseball team and other college teams, that there will be no events on the Dome field until at least the end of March." Mondale said that he "believes there will be no college games at all in the Dome this spring." He added that the MSFC "has not talked with the Vikings about the implications of a potential new roof on the exhibition season, calling it premature." Smetanka notes the MSFC Thursday "approved a plan to replace an acoustic roof liner at the Dome's center with sheets of batting that will hang from roof cables to improve sound." The batting "will cost an estimated $500,000, mostly paid by insurance" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/21). In St. Paul, John Shipley reports Houston-based engineering firm Walter P Moore is "analyzing the roof to determine the extent of the damage." The Vikings and the NFL, who were "briefed" on the roof situation Thursday, have hired N.Y.-based Severud Associates to "independently analyze the data." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said the team would not comment on the situation "until the assessment is completed" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/21).

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  • Facility Notes

    Target has not shown a lot of interest in renewing arena entitlement

    T'Wolves CEO Rob Moor said that Target "hasn't shown a lot of interest in renewing the naming rights of the Target Center," but he added that there are "five companies who have shown interest." In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman notes the naming rights "expire this September" on the building that "has been called Target Center since it opened" in '90. Moor said that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak "has assured Wolves owners that he will find some money to remodel Target Center in the near future" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/21).

    DEBT NEARLY PAID OFF: In Green Bay, Richard Ryman reported the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District Wednesday said that it will pay off $22.5M in bonds on Feb. 1, leaving $18.5M "in debt on the 2003 renovation of Lambeau Field." Stadium District Exec Dir Patrick Webb said that the plan is to "pay off the remaining debt by Aug. 1." The district "must then set aside money for mandated operations and maintenance costs of the stadium through the end of the lease" with the Packers in '31. Webb said that he "expects to terminate the 0.5 percent Brown County sales tax, which is paying for the bonds," by '15 (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/20).

    KEEPING OPTIONS OPEN: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow reported MLS DC United President & CEO Kevin Payne "expects to meet soon with city and state officials to talk about the potential of a new waterfront soccer stadium in Baltimore for the franchise." Baltimore developer Pat Turner "envisions building a nearly 20,000-seat stadium for the franchise as part of his 42-acre Westport development" off I-95. Payne said that the team "would be looking for a public-private partnership to make the project work." Sharrow noted reports surfaced this week that the team is also "scouting four sites in DC for a potential home" (, 1/20).

    HOME IMPROVEMENTS: Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino said that the club "will 're-examine' plans to expand the Fenway Park bullpens next winter." The project "would require the right-field fence to be brought in by at least 9 feet." Lucchino added that the team already has "gotten approval for $40 million worth of renovations to Fenway, including three video boards in center field" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/21).

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