Vikings, Bears Game Moved to TCF Bank Stadium
The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears should be pulling on their woolen socks and drinking hot chocolate, because the Metrodome will not be repaired in time for them to play in on Monday night.
Their frigid match will instead take place at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, after the roof of the Metrodome collapsed under the 17 inches of snow that fell in Minneapolis.
At first, inspectors said that the damage from the snowstorm would be repaired in six days, including repairing or replacing six Teflon panels that made up the dome roof.
However, they realised soon after that the damage was much more extensive than initially thought. Officials said that they could not estimate how long repairs will take at the moment, but it would be longer than the initial six day estimation.
Roy Terwilliger of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission says that the Commission hopes to get details within two to three days.
"Our first priority is the safety and well-being of the Vikings fans and players, the hundreds of youth sports, community and other groups that use the Metrodome throughout the year and our employees," he said.
The Vikings said in a statement that they turned their “full attention to the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium." Lester Bagley, vice president for public affairs, says that the National Football League (NFL) has given permission to use the roofless
stadium, but will first be subject to a thorough inspection before officially announcing the change of venue.
Meanwhile workers at the university have just started the long hard task of clearing tons of snow from the stadium for its first professional football game since the stadium opened in 2009.
The Vikings are going to pay for all expenses, including plowing, and those costs involved with hosting the game. Prices to remove the snow differ, but are still high. A budget for a normal game day in the stadium is about $250,000.
The last time that the Vikings played outdoors at home was way back in 1981 in the now-demolished Metropolitan Stadium. The Metrodome is built on the same spot. Minnesota lost the game to the Kansas City Chiefs with a final score of 10-6.
However, it will be an interesting experience, with weather forecasts predicting temperatures of around 0 degrees Fahrenheit (about -18 degrees Celsius.)
"I think they'll love outdoor football in Minnesota. I think it'll be a great experience for the fans," said Scott Ellison, the assistant athletic director for facilities at the university.
The Metrodome won’t be repaired in time for the Vikings game against the Bears on Monday, but now workers can complete the repairs carefully and slowly, since this is their last home game of the season. Their remaining two games, against the Philadelphia
Eagles and Detroit Lions, will be away.