Metrodome To Be Torn Down In Early '14; Vikings Entering Final Season In Venue
The upcoming NFL season will be the Vikings' last in the Metrodome, and the facility "will be torn down" in early '14, according to Doug Belden of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said that there "had been some thought" of team playing both '13 and '14 in the Metrodome as construction of the new stadium on the same site was in progress, but that "turned out to be unworkable." But she said given cost and liability issues, keeping the Metrodome open an extra year while construction is in progress "just doesn't make any sense." The Vikings will play the '14 and '15 seasons at the Univ. of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/22). Former Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Exec Dir Bill Lester said of the building, "There are a lot of buildings that were built bigger and better and designed bigger and better. But the main thing is, it served a community need. If you got a similar return out of any other investment, you’d consider it money very well spent." In Minneapolis, Richard Meryhew in a front-page piece notes the Metrodome will be torn down 31 years after it opened, and perhaps no sports facility "in the land was so celebrated, ridiculed, praised and scorned." How the Metrodome will be torn down has "yet to be determined." It could be "with a bang -- explosives -- or more likely, piece by piece" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/22).
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER: Univ. of Minnesota baseball coach John Anderson, whose team will play some games at the Vikings' new stadium, said that he "hasn't seen the design" of the facility. However, in Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports Anderson has talked to MSFA CEO Ted Mondale about a "design that calls for 44-foot NFL sidelines, a 26-foot right field wall and outfield dimensions of 300 feet to right field, 324 to left, 370 to left-center, 400 to dead center and 335 to right-center." Anderson said that the changes are "satisfactory." The new design "calls for a warning track of 10-foot-wide turf besides the 335-foot mark in center; portable dugouts with temporary walls in front of field suites; turf at home plate with a circular surrounding stripe; and club seating overhanging the right field wall that will be 4-by-11 feet and hang 39 feet, 9 inches over the field" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/22).