The Shoddy Stadium Rant

For the second time in its brief history, the roof of the Metrodome collapsed last weekend. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

When designing an indoor football stadium for Minneapolis, one would think the roof should be designed to withstand the weight of a whole bunch of snow. After all, this part of the world is no stranger to big snowstorms, so it’s not hard to anticipate a really huge snowstorm sometime during the life of such an expensive building.

Yes, 16-20 inches (40-50 cm) is a lot of snow, but this is Minneapolis for crying out loud. Whose the engineer that thought it was OK to build a roof in Minneapolis that can’t handle 20 inches of snow? Did they really think it would never happen in the next 50 years? In MINNEAPOLIS?

That’s like assuming it’ll never get to 120 degrees in Phoenix, or that there’ll never be a big hurricane in Miami, or that there’ll never be a tornado in Topeka, or that you can skip the earthquake-proofing in San Francisco. Somebody wasn’t thinking ahead. Or somebody wasn’t thinking, period.

I heard somebody on the radio today call the stadium “old.” I’m sorry, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are “old”. A stadium that was built 30 years ago is relatively new. There’s something wrong with having kids grow up watching games in a new stadium and not be able to bring their kids to watch games in the same stadium. There is no history or heritage in a crappy stadium built to last only 30 years.

If there is a God, I think It’s telling the Minnesota Vikings that they should play their games outside… y’know, like Real Men. In Wisconsin, we play football outdoors in January, and there’s not a single empty seat at Lambeau Field even though it might be cold enough to freeze hard liquor. Are Minnesota people really a bunch of softies that can’t watch a football game outside if it gets a little cold?

A couple of years ago, we were hanging out with some friends in Minneapolis, having drinks at a bar looking out at the Metrodome. I asked them if ┬áViking fans hold the same kind of reverence for the Metrodome that we Packer fans hold for Lambeau Field. The emphatic “no” came with no hesitation whatsoever.

Ironically, it’s now called “Mall of America” stadium. It’s named after the monstrosity that now stands on the site of the stadium this one replaced. The “old” stadium, built in the late 50’s.

Am I the only one who thinks it’s insane to build a new stadium every thirty years?

3 thoughts on “The Shoddy Stadium Rant

  1. You know what’s worse? The Vikings will have to play *outside* at U of M. And it’s not going to be climate controlled. And whom are they playing? The Bears, who are not at all unfamiliar with playing in inclement winter conditions (last week’s shellacking aside). I’m just saying, if the Bears lose, it will be at their own hands, because it’s reasonably certain that Brett “Throwin’ Picks and Textin’ Chicks” Favre and Tarvaris Jackson aren’t going to be there. Nor will the Vikings O-line and D-line, as they are (for the most part) unfamiliar with playing on turf in weather.

  2. Is it possible that thirty years ago the climate was not as chaotic as it is now. Did Minneapolis get an inch of rain before they got the snow like we did in Madison? The snow in Madison was saturated next to the ground was really heavy. It may not been part of the engineering code back then to take into account such heavy snow. I don’t know, I am not an engineer.

    These large storms that we have been experiencing in the upper Great Lakes are the result of cold dry polar air mixing with the warm moist tropical air. Depending on the track of the storm, a location can first get freezing rain, sleet, or rain followed by several inches of cold fluffy snow.

    So these days, do we have more rain events in winter?

  3. The worst part is the taxpayer expense. Education, health care, and other social spending get cut year after year, but politicians line up to give money to franchises for new stadia their owners could probably pay for without breaking a sweat. And then of course the profit goes to the owners, not the people who actually paid for it. They’re nothing but a giant scam.

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