Dome deflation set to begin Saturday

MINNEAPOLIS - The Minneapolis skyline should begin to change this weekend.

Power inside the Minnesota Vikings' Metrodome is scheduled to be cut Saturday and the giant white top that's been part of the skyline for more than 32 years will begin deflating.

As always, Minnesota's cruel winter elements could play a part. Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority spokesperson Jenn Hathaway says if the wind is too strong Saturday, the deflation will be delayed.

If conditions are conducive to moving ahead Dome operators will work with crews from Xcel Energy to turn off all power to the stadium. That, in turn, will turn off the system that inflates the dome. Hathaway says engineers expect it will take between 30 minutes and a few hours for the roof to deflate and drop to the Metrodome floor. At that point, Demo contractor Frattalone will secure the roof fabric to the ground and begin cutting up the roof into 40-foot sections.

After the roof is done, demo crews will take down the cables used to support the roof, and soon after begin full demolition of the Metrodome structure. Work will begin at gate D and proceed in a clockwise direction.

Few buildings in Minnesota history have been as polarizing as the Metrodome. Many associate it with the Twins World Series titles, while others remember the heartbreak of the Vikings 1998 loss to Atlanta that short-circuited their Superbowl hopes and can't wait to see it torn down.


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