On Sunday December 29th, the final event ever will be held in the Metrodome as the Minnesota Vikings will play the Detroit Lions in a very meaningless NFL game. Both teams are out of the playoff chase, so the game really amounts to nothing more than a glorified exhibition game, except for the fact that this will be the final chapter in the 30 plus years of that domed indoor stadium. As a sports fan in the Twin Cities area, I can honestly say that I will not shed any tears or go search for some dome memorabilia after the game is completed. In my opinion, the Dome (as we like to call it here) was a very sub-standard stadium, especially for baseball.
From the outside, the Metrodome looks very unique and interesting. A large building with a huge teflon, fiberglass roof that stands out as you drive past on the freeway. However, the inside is a totally different story. The corridors of the inside are very narrow and sometimes you feel like Adrian Peterson in trying to reach the bathroom or your favorite concession area. Not to mention the huge lines at the bathrooms.
After finding your seat, you are somewhat amazed at the lack of leg space in front of you. I am a 6′ guy who needs to stretch out my legs from time to time!! Imagine the torture that someone who is 6’5″ has to go through? Quite often for baseball, you need to twist your neck to see the action as the seats do not seem to be designed for watching a baseball game. Believe me, it is not always the most ergonomically friendly thing in the world to watch a baseball game at the dome. The seats are mainly designed for football.
Despite some of these hardships, I have had many fond memories of the Metrodome in watching many sports. Believe it or not, my most fond memory of that place was not baseball or football. It was actually watching a NBA game during the Timberwolves first season. I still remember a night in March of that season when Magic Johnson and the L.A. Lakers came to visit. There were about 50,000 plus in the stands that night and the place was very electric. It was very common for the Wolves to draw big crowds during their inaugural season. The Wolves played at the Dome during their first season while their new arena was being built.
I enjoyed many NFL games there as well including a few classic NFL games between the Vikings and Packers and a few Twin’s baseball playoff games. Anytime you have 50-60 thousand people in a domed stadium, there is bound to be a lot of noise and the Dome was always one of the noisiest stadiums in the country. I remember leaving some of those games with my ears ringing because of the noise.
Despite having many good memories of those big games in that noisy environment, I am ready to move on as a sports fan to bigger and better stadiums. The new Twins stadium is a huge upgrade from playing in the Metrodome. Sure there might be some bad weather nights or days but baseball is meant to be played outside, period!! I love sitting outside on those warm summer nights instead of sitting inside some indoor stadium. I am sure the Viking’s new stadium will be a huge upgrade as well. Just maybe I will not have to exert as much energy as the players in walking through the concourse.
The Metrodome will always have those special moments in Minnesota sports history. The Superbowl, Final Four and World Series were all held there. Some of my biggest memories ever have taken place there. But I am not sad at all to see the Dome go down. It was great for December and January football games but little else. I hope no other city makes the mistake of building and wasting a bunch of money on a domed stadium. There is just something about watching a football or baseball game outside and smelling the fresh air. We missed that here in Minnesota for many years. I can safely say that very few sports fan here in this state will miss the Dome either. We are all looking forward to much better stadiums and viewing experiences.