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Not ‘another jelly roll’
David Fields, a longtime Elliot Park resident and the neighborhood’s community development coordinator, said he was especially pleased that the stadium is asymmetrical in shape and won’t be another circular “jelly roll” like the Dome.
He said the extra entrances, combined with the heavy use of glass and see-through roof material, will also make the venue more inviting than its dated predecessor.
“It’s an attraction in and of itself,” Fields said. “When you first look at it, you don’t associate it with a sports facility. You don’t associate it with a brawny, masculine game. In fact, I can see some Vikings fans seeing it as being too dainty. It could be an opera house.”
Said Barb Lotti, a dental assistant at the nearby Hennepin County Medical Center, just down the block from the Dome, “I was kind of for a retractable roof, but this gives you light and an outdoor feel without the elements and without getting wet.”
Fields said any concerns that the building will be too overwhelming for its surroundings will likely diminish if, and when, nearby development materializes.
He said last week’s announcement by developer Ryan Cos. that it plans to build a $400 million office, housing and retail complex that would include two 20-story office towers on five blocks near the Metrodome, currently owned by the Star Tribune, could not only soften the stadium’s impact on the eastern downtown skyline, but lead to more development.
“Some people in the neighborhood might never set foot in the stadium,” she said. “But they are definitely going to be touched by what goes up around it.”
Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425