Upcoming season will be Vikings last in the Metrodome

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 22, 2013 - 5:56 AM

The architect and builder of a new stadium said the Metrodome will be torn down shortly after the conclusion of the Vikings’ 2013 season.

 

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, host to one Super Bowl, two World Series, a major league All-Star game and dozens of monster truck and tractor pulls, is done at 31.

Official word came Thursday, after the architect and builder for the glitzy new venue scheduled to replace it decided to raze it early next year to make way for a $975 million upgrade.

The outmoded, aesthetically challenged stadium, named for a beloved local politician and home for decades to the Vikings, Twins and University of Minnesota football team, fell victim to age and the trend toward sexier venues with waterfront views, luxury suites and more than enough restrooms.

“There are a lot of buildings that were built bigger and better and designed bigger and better,” said Bill Lester, who retired last year after 25 years as the building’s executive director. “But the main thing is, it served a community need. If you got a similar return out of any other investment, you’d consider it money very well spent.”

Built for about $55 million, the Dome opened in 1982 to high hopes and no air conditioning. Over the next three decades, maybe no sports facility in the land was so celebrated, ridiculed, praised and scorned.

It was home for two magical World Series championship teams and a few Hall of Fame moments, including Kirby Puckett’s 11th-inning, Game 6 walk-off home run that gave the Twins new life in the 1991 World Series.

It’s where Vikings greats such as Adrian Peterson and Randy Moss, ran through, around and over opposing defenses, and where McCartney, the Stones and U2 jammed before thousands.

It could get loud — so many Homer-Hanky waving fans hollered and screamed in the 1987 World Series that the place was dubbed “Thunderdome” — but could quickly go silent — thousands sat in stunned disbelief when Vikings kicker Gary Anderson missed a fourth-quarter field goal in the 1999 NFC championship game that killed the team’s Super Bowl dreams.

It was quirky, too. Oakland’s Dave Kingman once hit a ball so high it went through a roof air hole and never came down. Kingman was awarded a “roof rule” double.

“Everybody hated the place, but I loved it,” said former Twin Kent Hrbek, a first baseman on the team’s championship teams. “It was my home. I spent my whole career there. We won a couple of championships there. And we got our butts kicked there.

“It’s the only building I ever walked into where my hair stood up on my arms because of the electricity of the fans in there. I’ve been to some pretty exciting games in different buildings that were wild and had a great atmosphere. But it was nothing like the playoffs and World Series games and noise and excitement and sheer energy of the building.

“Opponents couldn’t stand the place. But that gave us a little edge right away.”

For all the noise that made the place rock, the Dome never seemed to impress the outside world.

Former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka ridiculed it often, calling it the “Rollerdome” and “a barn.”

Former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin said the stadium should be “banned” and dubbed it a “Little League field” after his team lost several fly balls against the roof’s backdrop.

“It stinks,” he once said. “It’s a shame a great guy like HHH has to be named after it.”

One manager suggested blowing it up.

  • related content

  • Better days: The Metrodome was aglow with Super Bowl lighting in 1992.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close