Metrodome Stadium History

Historical facts and images of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the home of the Minnesota Vikings.

Viking Update: Metrodome

H.H.H. Metrodome at night
Humphrey H.

Metrodome Facts
Metropolitan Stadium

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which opened in 1982, is financially self-supporting. It is the only public stadium in the country that does not rely on a continuing tax subsidy to finance operations, maintenance or debt payments. The Metrodome is owned and operated by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC), which was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1977. Its original purpose was to act as a nonpartisan body in selecting a site for a new stadium that would serve the long-term interests of the metropolitan area. Although many interests competed for the stadium's location, in the end it was a metro wide and statewide cooperation that got the stadium built.

Built it was, at a cost of $68 million, the Metrodome is covered by more than 10 acres of Teflon-coated fiberglass. It is the only air-supported dome, and fans enter the park through revolving doors that prevent release of the air that keeps the dome upright. The roof requires 250,000 cubic feet of air pressure per minute to remain inflated, and on at least three occasions slight tears caused by heavy snows have caused the roof to deflate.

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka often criticized the stadium, helping the Metrodome get in the news regularly. He once called it a big livestock hall, and the Vikings responded by putting huge fake cows and other animals on the field. When he called it the "Rollerdome," the Vikings had all their cheerleaders wear in-line skates. The Vikings miss Ditka.

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Metrodome Facts

Owner: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission
Management: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission
Tenants: Minnesota Twins (AL); Minnesota Vikings (NFL)
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Opened: April 3, 1982
Surface: SporTurf (1982 to 1986), Astroturf (1987 to 2003), FieldTurf (2004 to present)
Capacity: 55,883 (baseball); 64,000 (football)
Dimensions: apex of dome: 186 feet
  • Similar to the old domed stadiums in Seattle, Pontiac (Michigan), and Vancouver. All four were built by the same engineering firm.
  • Sections 107 to 113 are football seats that in baseball season are tilted up and back to create a 40-foot wall behind the right-field fence. These seats are the largest such retractable seats of its kind.
  • The roof collapsed on January 3 and April 14, 1983, from the weight of heavy snow.
  • On May 4, 1984, in the top of the fourth inning, Oakland A‚s batter Dave Kingman (formerly of the Chicago Cubs) hit a ball through the roof. It should have been a homer, but Kingman was only credited with a double.
  • Named in Honor of Hubert Horatio Humphrey, former mayor of Minneapolis, U.S. Senator from MN, and U.S. Vice President under Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • In just four hours, the Metrodome can be converted from a baseball stadium to a football stadium, faster than any stadium in the U.S.. The pitcher's mound weighs 23,000 pounds and is lowered at the push of a button.

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