Metrodome roof holding strong

The Metrodome isn't a desirable place for professional sports teams anymore, but the roof of the stadium has exceeded its life expectancy.

The Metrodome may be a dump, but the roof is just fine – despite being almost a decade beyond its life expectancy.

In a report presented to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Thursday, Metrodome engineer Steve Maki said that the roof of the dome remains in good condition and the 28-year-old Teflon roof should be good for at least the next four years – the approximate timetable that would be required if a new stadium is approved in the 2011 Legislative session.

"In this climate with less UV (ultraviolet rays) and less humidity (than other parts of the country), the materials continue to perform well," Maki told the MSFC, according to the Star Tribune.

To replace the Metrodome bubble would cost nearly $15 million and would take about five years to happen – a timetable that won't work for the Vikings, who have made it clear they want to be playing in a new stadium after their Metrodome lease expires in 2011.

The inspection, which was performed last month, showed very little damage to the roof, which is made up of two ultra-thin layers – an outside Teflon layer that is just 1/32nd of an inch thick and a fiberglass inner layer that is 1/64th of an inch thick. Despite having a shelf life estimate of 20 years, the fabric strength still met the original specifications, according to the Star Tribune. The only damage discovered was a thin layer of oily material blamed on years of monster truck rallies held in the Metrodome ("Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!").

The roof deflated three times early in the history of the dome, which prompted the MSFC to sue the builder, for which it won a $3.6 million award. There are currently only three similar fabric domes remaining in use.

While the Vikings have no intention of playing in the Metrodome much longer, the roof that protects the field from the elements will remain in place for the foreseeable future – for better or worse.


  • In the never-ending story that is the Pat Williams and Kevin Williams StarCaps saga, attorneys for the players filed a motion with the Minnesota Court of Appeals this week seeking a permanent blockage of the NFL's ability to impose their suspensions. The Williamses' attorneys claim that Hennepin County District Court Judge Gary Larson erred by declining to permanently block the league from enforcing the four-game suspensions. In his ruling in April, Larson said that the league violated the three-day notice requirement of Minnesota law concerning drug testing, but added that the Williamses weren't harmed by the violation.

  • Former Green Bay tight end Mark Chmura will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame Saturday and, as expected, the eight-year veteran was asked about Brett Favre. He said that he and Favre, who had a public split of their friendship after Chmura was charged with sexual assault of a minor after a prom party in 1990, remain friends, but he isn't as a big fan with him on the Vikings, saying, "I told him there's no way I can root for someone who plays for that team over there."

  • Vikings QB Sage Rosenfels will co-host a passing camp with Denver QB Kyle Orton this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa at Southeast Polk High School, Orton's alma mater.

  • The NFL held its supplemental draft Thursday and, as expected, the Vikings didn't take part. Only two players were selected – BYU running back Harvey Unga by the Bears and Illinois DT Josh Price-Bent by the Cowboys. Both teams gave up 2011 seventh-round draft picks to acquire the players.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for 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.

  • Viking Update Top Stories