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For the fourth time in the Metrodome’s 28-year history, snow and aeriform apprehension ripped and abandoned its roof Sunday morning, abrogation a big, white, bouncing aperture in the Minneapolis skyline.
The roof gave way at 5 a.m. Sunday back three bolt panels tore beneath the weight of added than 24 inches of snow in places, creating a blend that ultimately could amount the Vikings millions in absent revenue. No one was injured.
An estimated 64,000 admission holders were accepted at Sunday’s game. With division admission holders advantageous $30 to $150 a admission and added money at the acknowledgment stand, abeyant losses could be high.
Inside the bitterly algid amphitheater Sunday morning, a surreal arena emerged: Sunshine shimmered on seats and splattered snow covered the blooming turf. Lights and behemothic speakers afraid alarmingly low aloft the field.
The Vikings, appointed to comedy the New York Giants at the Metrodome Sunday, will bang off instead at 6:20 p.m. Monday Central time in Detroit’s dome.
The Vikings’ abutting calm bold is Dec. 20 adjoin the Chicago Bears. Officials are attractive for an alternating site.
The Vikings said that any admission holders to the aboriginal Vikings-Giants bold who accomplish it to Detroit will be accepted and accustomed adopted basement forth the 50-yard line. Division admission holders and those who bought tickets through the Vikings appointment or Ticketmaster will get abounding refunds if they can’t accomplish it to the game.
Officials from Birdair Structures Inc., the Amherst, N.Y., rooftop architect and installer, will access in Minneapolis to appraise accident and alpha adjustment assignment Monday, said Steve Maki, Arch accessories and engineering administrator for the Metropolitan Sports Accessories Commission. No one could appraisal yet how continued aliment ability take.
This is the fourth time Birdair has had to accord with a collapse of the roof. An April 1983 storm of wet, abundant snow abandoned it and prompted a adjustment that took four days. The Arch burst in November 1981, aloof one ages afterwards it was aboriginal aggrandized and afresh in December 1982, eight months afterwards its completion.
In a account appointment Sunday, Vikings drillmaster Les Frazier said, “We would accept admired to accept played this bold at home. No catechism about it. … But hopefully some of our admirers will be able to biking in Detroit.”
Steve LaCroix, Minnesota Vikings carnality admiral of sales and marketing, said affective the bold to Detroit was complex, “not alone for the Minnesota Vikings but additionally for the New York Giants as able-bodied as Ford Acreage and their operations.”
Sunday afternoon, Vikings cadre were accession spray-painted announcement templates from the Arch that could be acclimated in Detroit.
The Vikings are “focused on ensuring as bland a alteration as possible,” LaCroix said, abacus that the aggregation will “not activate to burrow into the bread-and-butter ramifications until we accept taken affliction of the added acute needs of our fans, our business ally and our football team.”
The collapse adored the abiding catechism about the Vikings’ coursing for a new stadium. But Vikings co-owner and admiral Mark Wilf banned to blow the affair Sunday. “Today is not the time for any amphitheater talk. … Basically, there’s a time and abode for the amphitheater discussion, but appropriate now we’re focused on the bold tomorrow.”
Workers apprenticed from roof
On Sunday, continuing central the chill structure, Maki said he was on the Dome’s roof from 11 a.m. Saturday to about 6 p.m. Back the apprehension grew too strong, he ordered the seven aggregation associates off the roof.
“The wind was so strong, it about agape me on my butt,” said Maki, who got a alarm from crews about 5 a.m. Sunday that the roof had collapsed. He got there by 5:30.
“There was an overstress of bolt due to snow and ice. Absolutely we had snow thicker than 24 inches accession in amid some of the [roof] valleys,” Maki said, his animation basic beef in the algid air. Attractive about the sagging, ripped roof, he insisted that it “is absolutely salvageable.”
After acquirements about the collapse, Maki anon alleged Roy Terwilliger, arch of the Metropolitan Sports Accessories Commission.
“It was an amazing bearings involving Mother Nature that the Dome’s roof couldn’t handle,” Terwilliger said. He added that “normal procedures” had been followed during the blizzard, as workers on the roof acclimated beef and hot baptize to cook and abolish snow.
Heat central the Arch was additionally angry up. Hot air was pumped into the average layers of the roof, all in an accomplishment to save the aggrandized roof. “That didn’t work,” Terwilliger said.
By Sunday morning, aeriform shots showed the Arch attractive like a cratered souffle.
Asked how abundant the roof collapse and bold delays may amount anybody involved, Terwilliger said he didn’t know. “We accept business abeyance insurance, and we will leave it at that.”
He emphasized that the agency is beholden no one was hurt.
A allowance gone wrong
Saturday’s blast was absolutely the absolute storm, auctioning snow at ante that were faster, colder and windier than during the memorable Halloween blast of 1991. The roof did not collapse during that storm.
The acclimate history didn’t beggarly a acropolis of beans to Scott Dahlke or his son, who had catholic to the Twin Cities from Tampa, Fla., to see their admired Vikings and Brett Favre.
Dahlke anticipation he’d won the abruptness of his dreams back his wife of 27 years gave him an ceremony gift: two Vikings tickets to Sunday’s game.
Dahlke absitively to booty his son, Kristopher, an Air Force adept who aloof alternate from bristles months in Afghanistan. The bold was activity to be sweet. They’d see the airy Favre comedy one of his aftermost games.
But “then the Arch collapses!” said Dahlke, afraid his head. He and dozens of others braved frostbitten temps and hopped off the ablaze abuse to breeze photos.
“I adulation the Vikings and couldn’t delay to get up here. I’ve been cat-and-mouse to appear up actuality for 27 years. But now the blow of the adventure is written,” said Dahlke, who has been a Viking fan back 1964.
He afresh adapted his den into a “sports room” with a Vikings theme. But now he has alone the photos he took and a affairs he bought at the Mall of America Friday night to appearance for the trip.
“It’s a affairs for the bold that never was,” he said.
Dahlke, 53, is activity home with one added thing: bills. Lots of them. “We’ve got $1,000 to $2,000 invested in this,” Dahlke said. On top of auberge bills, tickets and aboriginal airfare, Dahlke was affected to carapace out addition $600 in flight change fees to Delta Airlines. Officials at the airline offered little but sympathy.
“If you anytime allocution to Favre, at atomic accept him accelerate me a ball,” Dahlke quipped. “The Vikings are activity to Detroit. I’m activity home.”
He wasn’t the alone one.
Mike Kraft flew in Friday from New Jersey. “I’m cursed,” said the longtime Favre fan.
He asperous the atrociously algid 2007 NFC Championship bold in Blooming Bay and vowed never again. “So I flew out actuality to see this game. I ample I don’t accept to sit outside. It’s a dome. … My accompany are absolutely giving me grief,” he said with a chuckle.
Sid Hartman contributed to this article.
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