It is still unknown if there will be a 2011 NFL season, but if one does take place at the regularly-scheduled time, the Viking may have a question of where their home games will be played.
Ted Mondale, the newly-appointed chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, said Thursday that that replacing the roof of the Metrodome would likely take five to six months. A blizzard in December damaged the roof, forcing the Vikings to play their final two home games in alternate facilities (one in Detroit's Ford Field, the other at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium). The team has one year left on their lease at the stadium, which is owned by the state, and has been actively pursuing a new venue for the past several years.
"This is the year we do it," Mondale said of the effort to replace the Metrodome.
A report on the extent of the damage and a recommendation to repair the torn panels in the roof or replace it entirely is expected to be made public by the commission by the end of January. Replacing the Teflon roof could last until late summer, which is cutting it very close to the start of the NFL preseason, assuming there are no delays in construction. The NFL schedule will be announced later this spring.
The Vikings claim that the building is no longer a viable NFL facility and are seeking partial public funding for a replacement. The team would like an outdoor stadium, but many Minnesota lawmakers think an indoor, multi-purpose facility makes more sense.
The way we see it
While some members of the Vikings liked the outdoor atmosphere at TCF Bank Stadium, the team likes the enhanced crowd noise and homefield advantage of playing under a roof. If a deal is not reached between the team and state in the next year before the lease expires, speculation is that the Vikings may consider leaving the Twin Cities with Los Angeles seen as a likely destination.