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It was a bittersweet moment for the two, who fought hard against the Dome’s construction but were still there for the Twins first game and many more after that. “The building was always kind of crappy, but the memories were good,” Loscalzo said.
Across from the Dome at Huberts Bar & Grill, Linda Swendby of Fridley was one of the dozens of people packing the restaurant for the “Dome Deflation Party,” celebrating over “roofless” burgers (without the top of a bun) and bottles of $1.50 beers, the price in 1982, the year the Dome opened.
“It’s sad,” said Swendby, who worked for 15 years at the Dome as a custodian and security employee. “It’s just part of something that’s been a landmark for years. It’s history.”
The restaurant will continue to stay open during the demolition of the dome and construction of the new stadium. “It will hurt us for a couple of years, but it will be good for the whole Downtown East area,” bartender Cody Walker said.
Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said he’s not terribly nostalgic for the Dome. But, he said: “We’re happy the project is moving forward. It’s symbolic to see the roof come down. It’s a significant milestone, and now we’re and on the way constructing a new facility.”
Construction has already begun on the new stadium with the excavation of a giant crater on the eastern side of the property to make way for the new structure’s pilings.
Actual demolition of the Dome will begin Monday with the loading dock on its eastern side slated for the wrecking ball, said Dave Mansell, general superintendent of Mortenson Construction, the Golden Valley-based general contractor for the new stadium. As activity ramps up on the new stadium, the Minnesota Supreme Court is considering a last-minute legal challenge lodged by three Minneapolis residents over the way the public portion of the project is being funded. The state abruptly halted its scheduled sale of $468 million in bonds last week.
MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said Friday she’s confident the state and the authority will prevail.
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