The Minnesota Vikings currently play in one of the NFL’s nicest stadiums: U.S. Bank Stadium. It wasn’t always that way, however. For many years, the Vikings played at a colossal structure known as the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Metrodome had a very distinctive look. It also featured a weak roof that easily collapsed, usually due to excess snow.
In 2010, the Metrodome saw its final collapse. This one was slightly more memorable than others as a camera crew recorded it. Here’s the story of the many collapses of the Metrodome roof.
The history of the Metrodome
According to Ballparks of Baseball, the Metrodome hosted the Minnesota Twins for over 27 years. It was the third domed stadium to ever open. The Twins began playing there in 1982 but due to the shoddy quality of the stadium, they were already attempting to build another park by the mid-’90s.
Both the Vikings and the Twins shared the stadium until 2009. The last baseball game played at the Metrodome was a Twins-Yankees playoff tilt in the 2009 postseason. The Twins began playing at Target Field in 2010 while the Vikings continued to play at the Metrodome until 2013.
The many collapses of the Metrodome
The Metrodome’s roof collapsed four times in the 1980s. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the first collapse came in 1981 due to heavy snow. The Teflon and fiberglass roof collapsing makes a ripping noise as air shoots into the stadium, sending the roof plummeting toward the stadium seats.
The fifth, and worst, collapse came many years later in 2010. It was the most famous of the roofs many collapses, due in no small part to the event being caught on camera. The cave-in represented the beginning of the end for the aging stadium.
According to Patch.com, December 2010 saw a massive snowstorm hit the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, leaving 17 inches of snow on the ground. The Vikings were set to play the Giants on Monday night, but the league postponed the game due to the potential issues with the roof.
A Fox camera crew was setting up in the stadium when they noticed leakage in the roof. Unsure of what was going to happen, they decided to leave their cameras running overnight.
The crew captured one of the Metrodome’s defining images. The snow caused the roof to collapse and it was all caught on tape. The Vikings had to play their final home game of the season at the Detroit Lions’ home stadium of Ford Field. The Metrodome had to have its roof replaced and would not be used again until August 2011.
The final collapse of the Metrodome came in 2014, when it was demolished. By that time, the Vikings had already vacated for greener pastures.
Where do the Minnesota Vikings play today?
The Vikings currently play at U.S. Bank Stadium. According to Stadiums of Pro Football, the stadium opened in 2016. The Vikings played two seasons at the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ stadium before making U.S. Bank their permanent home.
The massive structure seats over 66,000 people. The futuristic building features a slanted roof that allows the sun to light the field despite their being a ceiling. Both end zones have gigantic LED scoreboards.
Viking games aren’t all the stadium hosts, however. It also hosted the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball Final Four. It cost over $1.1 billion to build, but it appears to be worth it.
The stadium is state of the art, and as of now, it has yet to see its roof collapse due to snow. In that respect alone, it’s got a major advantage over the Metrodome.