What to do with the Dome's old roof?

  • Article by: KEVIN DUCHSCHERE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2011 - 9:38 AM

Someone will have to decide soon about disposing of the nearly 440,000 square feet of fiberglass. One idea is souvenir pieces.

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The Metrodome roof, seen on Aug. 22, 2009.

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

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Anyone in the market for a few thousand graduation party tents?

Sometime next month, 10 acres of worn, faded fiberglass will be detached from the Metrodome's rim and brought down for good. The contractor that puts a new roof on the Dome will be expected to dispose of the old fabric.

How about Teflon-coated umbrellas for rainouts at Target Field?

Or small slices of the roof for fans who want a piece of the lid that kept Jack Morris pitching in comfort and Brett Favre warm and dry?

Maybe, said Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which voted Thursday to replace the roof.

"We haven't thought this through," he said. "We'll have a massive amount of inventory. We might have them pull some out" for souvenirs.

IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE

In 1995 the Twins and the commission sold turf collectibles to raise money for after-school activities in the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts. Sales weren't overwhelming. "We took pieces of the turf and framed it, but it petered out pretty quickly," Lester said.

WARM UP THE FACTORY

Contrary to some reports, Lester said that material for the new roof -- a fiberglass composite called Sheerfill II -- is not yet available. It will need to be assembled, patterned and fabricated, he said. The winning bidder for the roof job will arrange for the material with the supplier, he said.

'DOG DAYS' GO ON

Although installing a new roof effectively scratches all scheduled Dome events through July, Lester said concourse activities such as running, inline skating and even Dog Days at the Dome ("off-leash fun and furry socializing," the website says) will continue for now.

EXPENSIVE BLIZZARD

The commission expects to lose $2.4 million in revenue due to the cancellation of Dome events since the roof fell in the Dec. 11-12 blizzard. About $1.5 million comes from losing two relocated Vikings games.

BACK TO THE BANK?

Vikings officials say they hope that the Dome will be ready for the team's preseason games in August. Just in case, they're talking to the University of Minnesota about the possibility of playing again at TCF Bank Stadium. Call it "making sure that we have our bases covered," said team vice president Lester Bagley.

Kevin Duchschere • 612-673-4455

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