As the snow began pouring onto the Metrodome field — a scene that looked more like a special effects clip from the film 2012 than actual footage — there was a thought that likely crossed the minds of many.
Why does Minnesota have a stadium with an inflatable roof?
Minneapolis is a city that sees approximately 45 inches of snowfall each year, but the large storm over the weekend ranked fifth all-time in the Twin Cities, dropping 17.1 inches on Minneapolis and St. Paul. Despite the historical nature of the storm, the inflatable roof was not the brightest of ideas for the Metrodome.
It’s understandable that the franchise thought they needed a roof for its stadium, as the frigid temperatures of December and January are almost unbearable for football. However, having an outdoor stadium in an environment such as Minnesota has its advantages.
New England, Green Bay, Chicago and Buffalo are just a few of the NFL teams that play in an outdoor stadium and take the advantage when the colder weather hits. The Patriots seem to thrive in the snow and hold the edge when they host teams such as Miami or San Diego who primarily practice and play in warm weather.
Before the Metrodome opened in 1982, the Vikings played outdoors for 20 seasons in the Metropolitan Stadium and saw a considerable amount of success. The Vikes went to four Super Bowls while playing their home games in the outdoor elements, and haven’t been to the championship game since going under the dome. There may be no correlation between those two facts, but it’s worth mentioning.
This isn’t the first time the Metrodome has watched its inflatable roof collapse. Just 48 days after its grand opening, 10 inches of wet snow caused the roof to cave and a steel beam to snap, which pierced the balloon-like covering. The roof has caved on three different occasions since then, causing two postponements and one game delay.
The Vikings have been lobbying for a new stadium for more than a decade, and with the most recent collapse, one has to think the subject will be revisited after this season is over. The Vikings are in their final contracted season playing in the Metrodome, and a decision will have to be made during the offseason. Find the funds to build a new stadium, or move the franchise to Los Angeles — an increasing possibility as L.A. is looking to land a franchise for their potential team.
At the end of the day, it seems that there are only a few options, as playing in the Metrodome has become dangerous and just downright silly in the Minneapolis climate. Whatever the decision may be, an inflatable roof should be left out of the equation.
Do you think the Vikings need a new stadium? If so, should it have a roof? Share your thoughts below.