Metrodome might not be ready for preseason games

As expected, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission announced today plans to put an entirely new 10-acre roof on the Metrodome, but it might not be ready for the Minnesota Vikings to host preseason games.

According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, installation of a new Teflon-coated fiberglass roof will take up to six months. The task will cost about $18 million but the belief is insurance money will cover the bulk of it.

Engineers cited overall safety after the roof collapsed under snow and ice in December, forcing the Vikings to play one home game at Ford Field in Detroit and another at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

The Vikings made it clear that a new roof doesn’t interest them in remaining at the Metrodome for the long haul. The franchise’s lease at the stadium runs out after this coming season.

“The Minnesota Vikings support the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission’s decision to replace the Metrodome’s damaged roof,” the Vikings said in a release. “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.”

Yes, the more pressing issue for the Vikings is the bid to get a new stadium built, not getting a roof thrown on the Metrodome.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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