Snow Lays Waste To Metrodome, Sends Football Game To Detroit

A colossal snowstorm in Minnesota did to the Metrodome what other teams have been doing to the Vikings most of the season, making it collapse under intense pressure. Snow punctured the puffy, Teflon roof of the 28-year-old structure, forcing tonight’s Vikings-Giants game to be played in Detroit. The game had already been delayed because the Giants couldn’t get a flight into Minneapolis.

ESPN reports fans who had tickets to the game and make the 690-mile trek to Detroit will get prime seating at the game. That’s not such an amazing deal because tickets are going to be available for free at the Ford Field box office. Those who had tickets will get refunds. Fox will broadcast the game in the New York and Minneapolis markets.

So there you go, Vikings fans. As if 2010 hadn’t punished you enough, with injuries, the Brett Favre dickpic scandal and a coach firing, you’re losing a home game as well.

Giants-Vikings moved to Ford Field [ESPN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Jay911 says:

    Insert joke here about being in really dire straits if you have to move to Detroit to improve things.

    • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

      No, the joke lies in that the Lions won yesterday.

      So, this is what Hell freezing over looks like…

      • katarzyna says:

        Hell freezes over every year. I’ve been there:

        And btw, Detroit notwithstanding, Ford Field is a very nice stadium.

        • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

          Yeah, I have shotglasses from Hell, MI. Reading through their website, you gotta give them credit on their sense of humor about it.

          I haven’t been to Comerica Park or Ford Field yet, even though I work just blocks away. I have heard both are really, really nice.

    • MSUHitman says:

      The main reason it was moved to Detroit was that Fox already had cameras there from Sunday’s game. Otherwise, it would have been moved to most likely either St. Louis or Indianapolis.

  2. rihan says:

    Before anyone tries to whine about them not playing at TCF Bank stadium on the U of M campus its because the place is already winterized and would take days to get ready.

    Personally I think they should have played 3 hours up the road at the Fargodome, instead of moving it 3 states away. Yes it’s less seats, but they could have figured something out, and still kept the game in Vikings country.

    • bombledmonk says:

      No doubt. I bet you a more total fans could have actually made it to the game this way, even if all of them didn’t fit. They can seat 16-18k depending on configuration and there wouldn’t be a bad seat in the house.

      • Shadowfax says:

        The NFL doesn’t give a damn about the fans. They make a LOT more money from the broadcast of their games than they do from the ticket sales.

        People don’t realize that the NFL is not a sports organization, it’s a media company.

        • Gulliver says:

          So the NFL puts a situation together where the game can be seen by MORE people, and they don;t care about the fan. Shut up. You have no clue about what you speak. Here is an idea, The Vikings can pay to build a building that won;t collapse. Until then, they forfeit a home game or the game in general. The NFL didn’t tell them to lease a stadium that can not handle the elements in Minnesota.

    • Gulliver says:

      You need to recall one major factor. TV. Ford Field is set up with TV cameras from yesterdays Lions Packers game. How do you haul all the TV equipment overnight in a snowstorm to Fargo?

    • PercyChuggs Was Found At JFK Airport says:

      So you think that thousands of fans should be traveling in poor road conditions up to Fargo? What happens if 30,000 ticket holders show up to a game in an 18,000 seat dome?

      And to the guy who foolishly said the NFL “doesn’t give a damn about the fans”, you couldn’t be more wrong. The fans are the ones who pay money to see NFL games. That’s just a bitter, grumpy way to look at things.

      Anyone who bought a ticket for the game through official channels will be given a full refund. Chalk this up to “$hit happens”.

      • rihan says:

        It was supposed to be a home game for them. If they brought it to Fargo there would easily be enough people to fill the place, and it would be a home crowd. We didn’t get any nasty weather up here, and its not like most people are going to be able to get to Detroit anyway. Refund the original tickets, do a quick new sale for Fargodome tickets, and everyone is happy.

  3. chiieddy says:

    I wonder how many fans were able to get out of snow clogged Minnesota to get to Detroit, over 12 hours away by car.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      So much for the HOME TOWN, if anyone want’s any proof what ‘PROfessional’ sports is all about just look at things like the Superbowl locations and moves like this. TV money rules as does the team jersey buyer or the over priced beer buyer but the season ticket holder actually there to see the game-pfffttt.

      • huadpe says:

        Given the circumstances, I don’t see much else that could have been done, apart from canceling the game altogether. There are no other stadiums in Minneapolis that can be cleared/converted to handle a football game in a short enough time.

        • Brunette Bookworm says:

          And no indoor locations any closer considering the Giants didn’t have their cold weather gear with them. If they did, they could have played outside in a closer spot like Green Bay or Chicago…of course the weather that broke the Metrodome was here in NW Indiana Sunday – Tuesday morning so getting anywhere east of that area by going south of Lake Michigan was impossible.

  4. Bella_dilo17 says:

    The original ticket holders get discounted airfare, people.

    • Scully says:

      Consumerist seems to have missed the details of this game. General Admission seating is free in Detroit, but ticketholders to the original Vikings game at the Metrodome get prime seating in Detroit, along with discounted airfare to and from Detroit for this game.

  5. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Also, the Giants did not bring any of their cold weather gear with them, so moving to a place a little closer, but outdoors, was out of the question.

    But at least there should be an opening for a strength and conditioning coach later today. The downside of that is that you’d be working for the Jets.

  6. George4478 says:

    No one was more surprised than the roof builders to find out that it snowed in Minnesota. And, sometimes, it snows a lot.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Because of the sheer quantity of snow in Minneapolis, the roof was designed to fail under certain circumstances. It would have been cost prohibitive to build a framework that could support the volume of snow during a major storm. Instead, they designed an inflatable roof that would collapse with heavy snow accumulation but could be reset in under a week. This isn’t the first time that it’s collapsed and it did exactly what it was supposed to have done.

      The engineers knew what they were doing.

      • minjche says:

        +1, good comment.

      • coren says:

        Doesn’t that seem dangerous considering how it failed? If people were in the stadium at the time…well, I think you see my point.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        It appears it has also failed previously. Almost every year for about 5 years after it was erected it failed. But hasn’t since. This is the first time since the 80’s

      • Jevia says:

        Sorry, but nothing is “cost prohibitive” to millionaire owners of pro football teams. Its just how much less profit they are willing to accept.

      • George4478 says:

        The roof was designed to collapse on a potential crowd of tens of thousands under certain circumstances?

        I have not seen a story yet from the owners/design firm that said “Perfect! Just what it was supposed to do.”

        • Firethorn says:

          It’s not permanent living quarters. It’s also large enough to have a permenant maintenance/repair staff, much less ‘person’.

          IE they know about when the roof will collapse and simply don’t let anybody in if the snow load is getting close to the danger zone.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            “IE they know about when the roof will collapse and simply don’t let anybody in if the snow load is getting close to the danger zone.”

            That’s exactly how it is handled. The Metrodome was also quite an engineering marvel when it was built. Snow is a major problem for any domed sports arena and only so much can be done to compensate for a few hundred thousand pounds of it. The design for the Metrodome was a response to major damage that happened to the Silverdome a few years prior to it being built.

            In these situations, you’re much better off building a system with a fail safe. A predictable and controlled failure is a lot better than a catastrophic collapse.

  7. SecretAgentWoman says:

    Yeah, whose idea was it to make a teflon roof to hold up under snowy conditions?

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I read a comment elsewhere that said the building maintenance crew/manager should have deflated the roof earlier. I also heard they tried shoveling snow off it a day or two ago? A shovel rip? There was probably TV pressure as much as anything trying to avoid so much as a few delay. Worse case scnerio played out.

  8. bombledmonk says:

    I think this is opportunistic sabotage by the Vikings themselves. They’ve been whining about getting a new stadium for years and threatening to leave because the taxpayers didn’t want to foot $500+ million for cost share.

    • Chmeeee says:

      They’re not going to get a new stadium. This is the third time the roof has failed, I bet it’s fixed within a week, 2 at the most.

  9. kirkjt says:

    Also, Fox already has all of their cameras and equipment set up in Detroit (and Minneapolis too I am sure). It can take a few days to get all of that setup. It would be difficult to go to the Fargodome and get all of that set up for Monday. This was the best solution.

    • parliboy says:

      Which would be fine if they were still showing the game nationally. But it’s only going to be telecast in the New York and Minnesota markets now. This makes the cameras less of a priority.

      • Gulliver says:

        The game was never designed for national play. All NFL games are done regionally as it is. You might also consider that New York is not Green Bay as a television market. I bet there will be more people at this event than could be seated in Fargo.

  10. brit2380 says:

    It wouldn’t have been impossible for the Giants to have their outdoor equipment sent to them and played a little closer to home! The gophers stadium is too small for the fans, since it has 12000 less seats than the metrodome. Overall, it just plane sucks for the Vikings since they have to travel too and takes away the greatest advantage the vikings have when at home: the crowd noise.

    • huadpe says:

      I was reading that they’d considered it, but that the stadium was closed for the winter, and given the snow, couldn’t be re-opened quickly enough for the game.

    • bombledmonk says:

      And how many vikings fans do you think will make it to Detroit. After that storm it’s quite likely that they would have been out at least 12000 fans and not even filled up the TCF stadium.

  11. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    At least it was empty and no one was hurt. Could you imagine what would’ve happened had it collapsed DURING the game O_O

  12. fuceefacee says:

    I like the headline on
    “Minneapolis MetroDome Roof Collapses Under The Weight Of Favre’s Ego”

  13. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Not sure which is the worse punishment: losing your stadium for a while, or having to play in Detroit.

  14. kylere1 says:

    Considering it is the home of the Lions, it will be nice to see a real game played in Detroit!

    (And yes, I am a Lions fan, and they suck. When they stop sucking I will say so, in the meantime the fanbois amongst you can shut up)

  15. Grabraham says:

    If you watch the security camera footage closely you can see Brett Favre limp out onto the field about an hour before the roof failed cutting the panels with a razor on a long stick. His desperate attempt to get another 24 hours of rest so he can start the next game seems to have worked :-D

  16. humphrmi says:

    I must admit that I considered making the trek from Chicago to Detroit, just to be able to take the kids to see an NFL game for free. But too much work to be there at 8:00 AM today.

    • Rachacha says:

      “just to be able to take the kids to see an NFL game for free”

      Round trip fuel $80
      Lukewarm soggy hotdogs and a small soda $75
      Beer and Nachos for Dad $30
      Team merchandise for the kids $120
      One night hotel stay $85
      Cost of taking your kids to a “free” NFL football game $390

      Just kidding…I get what you are saying.

  17. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    I don’t know if anyone else caught it but on the camera footage you can see workers in one of those golf carts they use flooring it to the corner exit right before the roof collapses and lets all the snow in, that must have been a little scary.

  18. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    On the plus side, no matter how bad the Vikes (or Giants) play, it’s going to be a lot better than what Detroit football fans usually see in their stadium…

  19. DanRydell says:

    It’s not all bad for the Vikings – Favre gets an extra day to recover from his last injury before facing the Giants defense, who have already injured 5 quarterbacks this season.

  20. JoeTheDragon says:

    The game will also be on NFL ST as well.

  21. coren says:

    Two home games. Next week is gonna be relocated too.

  22. evilpete says:

    Detroit needs the money

  23. ttw1 says:

    And this is in The Consumerist because…?

  24. jsfetzik says:

    I went to college fairly close to the Twin Cities back in the 80’s. The roof at the Metrodome collapsed a couple of times while I was there. It usually goes down due to huge amounts of snow. Although I think it was damaged once by exceedingly strong winds.

  25. Minneapolis says:

    Relax. We’re gonna fix it.

  26. maxrebo says:

    I live an hour south of Minneapolis and also got hit by the snowstorm (although they got about 2 times the snow we did). For snowfall amounts, it was the 5th largest amount in recorded history at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. The worst was the Halloween 1991 snowstorm (I can remember it, I was only like 9 or so!) which got almost 10 more inches of snow – however that did not cause the dome to collapse. One of the major factors in this collapse were the blizzard conditions which were causing 3-4 foot drifts in parts of the dome’s valleys and the people who clean it off could not continue working on the roof due to the heavy winds.

    I’m glad Fox had their cameras rolling, as its very surreal watching the roof come down along with the lights and speakers attached to it! I have watched several Minnesota Twins games there along with several Minnesota Gophers football games there (both of which now have their own brand spankin’ new stadiums!).


    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Yep, the weather was CRAZY. I’m in NW Indiana and we got hit by snow Sunday morning and it lasted until Monday night, at least the blizzard/winter storm part. The winds were up to 60 mph by where I work. We’ve been under a state of emergency. I got out this morning but there were still abandoned vehicles on the sides of the road, buried under drifts, and semis off the interstate into ditches. People were stuck in cars for hours until emergency personnel could get them. If anyone watched the Bears game Sunday that weather is what we had all day Sunday and Monday. The wind made it so they couldn’t keep roads cleared. This morning anything other than the main roads were still basically impassable and not all the main roads were cleared well. This storm was just bad, even for an area prepared for snow.