Out with the Old

A Minnesota sports fan remembers the Metrodome fondly, looks ahead to better days.

Jeremy Tutt | Freelance

To a young sports fan growing up in the Twin Cities, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome was sports heaven, a place where my dad and I could spontaneously purchase Twins tickets 10 minutes before the first pitch or plan a whole Sunday around tailgating before the Vikings game.   

To opposing fans the Metrodome was an outdated stadium that they dreaded visiting.  But to a young Minnesotan, it was my first sports home, “The Dome.”  Never mind that sitting in the upper deck or outfield meant using binoculars, I was just happy to be there.

For outsiders the Metrodome looked like a trash heap, but to Minnesotans it meant more.  Records were set and championship were won.  In fact the Dome housed one of the greatest World Series of all time (1991), was home to the highest powered offense in NFL history (1998) and was the only place to find a “Dome dog,” which is to this day, the world’s best hot dog.

Too young to realize its shortcomings as a ballpark or a football field, I considered the Dome infallible.  Now that I am older and have seen other stadiums and fields, I agree that it was a trash heap. But it was my trash heap. Memories were made there that I won’t forget, but just like the house I grew up in, eventually it’s time to move on.

By January 2014, the Metrodome was gone and visions of the brand new, state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium started to become a reality.  That May, construction began on a stadium that would be nearly twice the size of the old Metrodome, with 6,000 more seats, 8,000 more club seats and a video board 13 times larger than that of the Metrodome.  The exterior of U.S. Bank Stadium is made up of roughly 8,500 glass units, and its roof of transparent ethylene tetraflouroethylene (EFTE).

Standing a monumental 30 stories high, U.S. Bank stadium looks like the perfect replacement for the old Dome.  On May 20, 2014 the NFL awarded Super Bowl LII to Minnesota (2018) and later that year, U.S. Bank Stadium secured its second major event of the year, the 2019 NCAA Final Four.

Construction to be finished in July 2016.  Just two months after that, the Vikings will play the first game ever in U.S. Bank Stadium and you can bet I will be there, with childlike excitement, ready to check in to my new home.

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The Metrodome, the old home of Vikings football. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings.
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The Metrodome, the old home of Vikings football. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings.