The Minneapolis Metrodome will spend about $18.1 million to replace its damaged roof before the start of the 2011 National Football League season.
The inflatable roof partially collapsed on Dec. 12 under the weight of 17 inches (43 centimeters) of snow, forcing the Minnesota Vikings to relocate their final two home games of the 2010 regular season.
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is seeking proposals from contractors to replace the roof, which comprises 10 acres of Teflon-coated fiberglass. The work will be “substantially completed by Aug. 1,” it said. The decision to replace the roof was made after an engineering assessment concluded that 60 percent of the panels were unacceptable.
“Due to a considerable risk of undetected flaws in the remaining panels, caused by prolonged moisture exposure and wind flutter in the deflated condition, we recommend a full replacement of the fabric roof system,” the assessment by Austin, Texas-based Walter P. Moore and Associates Inc. said.
Bill Lester, executive director of the MSFC, didn’t return a telephone message yesterday.
The collapse forced the Vikings to move their Dec. 13 game against the New York Giants to Ford Field in Detroit. The team played its Dec. 20 game against the Chicago Bears at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.
“We are pleased the Vikings will be able to play in front of our fans during the final season of the team’s lease agreement,” the Vikings said in a statement yesterday.
The team said it remains committed to constructing a new stadium to replace the 30-year-old Metrodome.
“MSFC’s decision to replace the roof is not a long-term stadium solution and does not change the urgency to build a new multipurpose stadium for the state and the Vikings,” the team said. “The Metrodome still ranks at the bottom of the NFL in terms of revenue and fan experience.”
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