The weight of more than a foot of snow was too much for the Metrodome roof and it deflated overnight. The Metrodome was to be the site of today’s Vikings/Giants NFL football game. That game had been moved to Monday night because of concerns about the snow on the dome roof. The game will now be played at Detroit’s Ford Field tomorrow night at 7:20 Eastern Standard Time.
The dome roof’s deflation came long after the snow had stopped. The head of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, Roy Terwilliger told WCCO-AM it happened after 5 a.m. A rip in a panel in the middle of the roof caused it to deflate said Terwilliger.
The UpTake’s Craig Stellmacher has been at the Metrodome this morning for a news conference and first-hand report from the scene. He talks about the Venturi effect and how it can make a one foot snowfall several feet deep.
This is what he saw inside: A gaping hole in the roof:
Metrodome officials talk about the roof, how it happened, and what happens next:
Fox has video of the roof from the inside as it deflates:
Read more about the storm in our Blizzard People live blog and read about the previous problems with the Metrodome’s roof..
This is not the first time the dome roof has deflated.
From Wikipedia: Five times in the stadium’s history, heavy snows have caused small punctures in the roof that caused it to deflate. Varying air pressure due to a severe storm also contributed to a dramatic deflation during a regular-season baseball game in 1986.
On November 19, 1981, a rapid accumulation of over a foot of snow caused the roof to collapse, requiring it to be re-inflated.
It deflated the following winter on December 30, 1982, again because of a tear caused by heavy snow. This was four days before the Vikings played the Dallas Cowboys in the last regular season game of the 1982 NFL season.
That same winter, on April 14, 1983, the Metrodome roof deflated because of a tear caused by heavy snow and the scheduled Twins’ game with the California Angels was postponed. It was the only postponement in Metrodome history until 2007.
On April 26, 1986, the Metrodome roof suffered a slight tear because of high winds, causing a nine-minute delay in the bottom of the seventh inning vs the Angels.