Dome roof collapses, game moved to Detroit

The NFL has rescheduled the Vikings-Giants game for 6:20 p.m. Central Monday in Detroit, as the Metrodome roof collapsed after 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

The roof of the Metrodome collapsed early Sunday morning under the weight of about 18 inches of snow that fell in the Twin Cities metro area Saturday, causing the Vikings game with New York Giants, which was already delayed until Monday night, to be moved to Ford Field in Detroit with a 6:20 Central time start.

The game will be broadcast on Fox in the Twin Cities and New York markets, as well as the secondary markets of Rochester and Mankato in Minnesota, and is available on DirectTV's Sunday Ticket.

At least three of the panels, which are 1-16th of an inch thick, in the roof are damaged. Metrodome officials had no estimate of the timetable to repair the roof, and the Vikings are scheduled to host their final home game of the season on Dec. 20 against the Chicago Bears in another Monday night matchup.

The Vikings, Giants and NFL spent a few hours Sunday morning trying to determine what to do about the game. Free general admission tickets to the game will be available at the Ford Field box office on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 8 a.m. Central Monday, and tickets holders for the original game will be given priority seating near the 50-yard line. Those not able to attend will be given refunds, the Vikings announced.

"We're going to work to make this as accommodating of a game for both teams, but particularly the Vikings, since it is their home game that is being lost," Lions president Tom Lewand said.

TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers, was considered, the NFL said, but the Vikings issued a statement later in the morning saying that was not an option.

"The Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota have worked cooperatively and diligently on the relocation of the Giants-Vikings game. The university, however, has informed the Vikings that unfortunately TCF Bank Stadium was shut down for winter and would take several days to prepare for an NFL game," the statement said.

It's unclear if the Metrodome will be available for the Vikings' final home game of the season.

The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome runs through 2011, but the team has been seeking funding for a new stadium for more than a decade.

According to WCCO, the Metrodome roof has failed three times before – in the 1980s. It deflated in in 1981, 1982 and 1983 because of tears in the panels due to snow. The Twins had been the only tenant affected by delays due to the dome's failings, but the Twins now play their games at Target Field while the Vikings remain in search of a new stadium.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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