Vikings working to deflate chance of melee Sunday at Metrodome

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 27, 2013 - 10:35 AM

Extra security will be on hand Sunday to make sure fans don’t trash it after the last game.


Vikings fans in search of souvenirs climbed the scoreboard after the final NFL game at Metropolitan Stadium on Dec. 20, 1981.

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The Minnesota Vikings want a peaceful, orderly send-off Sunday for the Metrodome, the stadium the team fought so hard to leave.

“We want to send it off in the right way,” Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said Thursday. “It’s a historic building, not just for Vikings fans, but for Minnesotans.”

To ensure that calm is kept, the hometown NFL team is bringing in extra security for Sunday’s noon finale against the Detroit Lions. The Vikings also hope to slake fans’ thirst for historical tokens by handing out commemorative items.

The goal: to avoid the wholesale destruction that occurred after the team’s final game at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington in 1981. The game plan: zero tolerance. After the Vikings lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 10-6 in the game at the Met, fans scaled the scoreboard, tore down goalposts and damaged or hauled off pretty much everything but the frozen field. Fights broke out. Nine people were arrested that day.

Since opening in 1982, the Metrodome has seen lots of history. The Dome was the Minnesota Twins’ home for the 1987 and 1991 World Series championships. And the Minnesota Gophers played there for years, as have scores of high school teams.

But the Twins and the Gophers left for their own stadiums, and now the Vikings will get theirs, with demolition preparation beginning Monday and roof deflation planned for Jan. 18.

Although the building will start coming down soon, the goal is to leave it to professional demolition crews rather than raucous fans.

“Safety is really, really important,” said Jenn Hathaway, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

That means those cute recycling bins with the purple helmets can’t be taken out the revolving exit doors, and carving off a piece of a Metrodome seat could result in a trip to the Hennepin County jail.

“Hopefully our fans will be respectful and we’ll be able to go out in a memorable way,” Anderson said.

The team and the authority have reason to be wary. When the San Francisco 49ers played their final regular season game at Candlestick Park on Monday night, some 30 fans were arrested, mostly for public drunkenness, but at least one was accused of trying to take home a piece of the park, according to news reports.

Anderson said Vikings fans tend to be better-behaved than fans in other NFL stadiums. The per-game arrest average for the last three years is no more than one person, and fewer than 10 fans are ejected each game for bad behavior, Anderson said, adding that both numbers are below the league average.

“When you have 64,000 people in the stadium, it can be difficult to make sure you don’t have issues,” Anderson said.

Typically, the team’s private security firm brings 500 guards to a game. On Sunday, that number will be 600. The Vikings also increased from 60 to 110 the number of off-duty Minneapolis police officers they will hire for the game.

The First Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department is responsible for the streets around the Dome. Inspector Medaria Arradondo said extra officers will be on duty for the game in case they’re needed, but he added, “The focus is really going to be on the inside.”

Security will tighten around the field as the game draws toward its end. Guards will closely monitor fans as they leave the building through the revolving doors.

“Basically, nothing is coming out of that building,” said Hathaway.

After Sunday’s game, the team plans a farewell ceremony with running back Adrian Peterson, former players Matt Birk and Robert Smith and former coach Bud Grant.

For the fans who want a hunk of history, the Vikings will provide each with a commemorative pennant honoring the first and final games at the Metrodome.

And those who absolutely must have a piece of the Dome will get a chance. The authority is in discussions with vendors to sell seats and could complete the arrangement by Friday or at the latest, by next week.

San Francisco is selling Candlestick seats for $649 a pair. One “problem” the Vikings (4-10-1) won’t have that San Francisco (11-4) might: the need to repair seats damaged during a playoff game.


Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson


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San Francisco 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Kansas City 3
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
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
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 91 4th Qtr 1:00
Memphis 93
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 100 4th Qtr 9:57
San Antonio 78
Portland 16 1st Qtr 3:00
LA Lakers 15
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 4 3rd Prd 5:30
Pittsburgh 2
Washington 1 2nd Prd
Edmonton 1
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
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
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
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
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
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(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
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
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
(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
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
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
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Chivas USA 0 2nd Half
Real Salt Lake 1
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
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Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
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Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
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Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
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