The Vikings got their outdoor stadium


Being in California for the weekend, I’m slightly behind on posting the news of the Metrodome’s spectacular roof collapse on Sunday.

What’s particularly fascinating to me is that I saw this happen once in person. While my memory is fuzzy, doing a little research leads me to believe that I was there for the April 26, 1986 tear in the middle of the 8th inning of a Twins-Angels game. What I remember is that we were sitting in the general admission outfield area (I think centerfield), and everyone was evacuated to the concourse as dirt poured onto right field in front of the baggie. My dad stayed near the edge of the stairwell into the seats to watch and I stayed with him, which made my mom nervous. She was further back in the concourse with my sister (who was apparently a day shy of her 2nd birthday). But it’s that flush of dirt pouring onto the field that I remember, the memories of which came flooding back when I watched the video of this weekend’s much more dramatic collapse.
What I don’t remember is that apparently the Twins were well on their way to winning when the roof collapsed and they gave up a 5 run lead in the 9th after the game resumed. I also don’t remember how they patched the hole in only 15 minutes!


One response »

  1. The good news is that you got most of the story right, but it wasn’t dirt that fell, it was water and it wasn’t right field, but the left field foul corner. The claim is that high winds caused the tear, but that’s always struck me as odd, because the tear occurred on the leeward side. But then what do I know?
    While the stadium didn’t deflate completely, it did sag a bit and that screwed up the lighting a bit. I can’t imagine they would continue the game nowadays, but they did then. Partly, I think, because the weather was so bad outside that they didn’t want people to leave.
    And, yes, your mom was yelling at me to get into the concourse where it would be safe, but I stayed to watch the fun. Believe me, the players left the field in a hurry. Besides Kath wasn’t really worried about me, she was mostly concerned because you wouldn’t leave. I tried to explain to her that if the roof actually deflated it would fall slowly enough that we could easily get out. And besides, if nothing else, you were short enough that you could lay down between the rows and the roof wouldn’t touch you. I don’t think she bought any of that.

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