What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

The Real Reason The Metrodome Roof Collapsed

In all honesty, one can make a bunch of jokes about how the roof of the “Humptydome” coming down is just a metaphor for all the terrible teams that have played under the Teflon Sky. Make a list and see the trail of sporting tears that have called the Metrodome home. The only resident still there is also the one most affected by this current disaster; the Minnesota Vikings have lost every NFC championship game they have ever been in under that horrible roof. The Minnesota Timberwolves (with the exception of the Kevin Garnett era) have settled into being a perennial NBA doormat; a franchise that began its days under the Teflon Sky. And even the entity whose new stadium may have to bail out the NFL come Monday (I may be accused of breaking out a big glass of “Haterade” for this) but the Minnesota Golden Gophers lived through some of the worst years ever seen by a terrible program while they got their mail at the Metrodome. The only team that ever won anything in the Baggy-Dome were my beloved Minnesota Twins, and even they were ghastly for half of their years in that atrocity.

The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich...er...Roof.

I could even point out that the Metrodome was the front-runner on our list of the worst sports venues in America.  That was months before this catastrophe; and a catastrophe that has happened before. The Baggy-Dome has has a failure event with its Teflon Sky at least five times, which is not a great track record for a structure that is hardly 30 years old.

I even could get in to the litany of why the place is so terrible for sports.  But the Dome is a monument to plastic with terrible sightlines, not enough bathrooms, horrid concessions, and a roof and turf combo that completely made a joke of baseball; those are just symptoms. The root cause is this atrocity was built on the cheap.

Seriously, the Metrodome is like if K-Mart built sports venues; everything in the building screams cost-cutting move.  But that is to be expected when you have a venue that was built for less than $60 million, which roughly equivalent to $235 million today.  The air-supported roof was a cheap answer to told-school domes that preceded the Metrodome, such as the Houston Astrodome or the Louisiana Superdome.  When you stop to consider that stadiums built today estimate construction at $650 million, and have ended up costing over $1 billion, it really shows how much the Metrodoome was intended to shave the dime.

On top of that, Minnesotans, being the progeny of good, phlegmatic Scandinavian stock (read that as “cheap”) have milked more out of their cheap dome than anybody else. Indianapolis got rid of the RCA Dome, Detroit no longer uses the Silverdome for major events, and even the largest stadium of this type, BC Place in Vancouver, is currently undergoing a conversion to a retractable-roof design, abandoning air-supported technology entirely.

Sadly, these tragedies have commonality.

Now for the really ugly truth.  Minnesota is a place with a sad combination of a brutal climate with harsh extremes and a government that combines cheap structures with cheap maintenance.  It’s no accident that the people who built a cheap cloth roof in a place where two-foot snowfalls are not uncommon are the same who went the cheap route on maintaining steel bridges in a place that has 120-degree seasonal temperature extremes. It’s no accident that the Metrodome and the 35W Bridge are both structures built and maintained by Minnesota government that are both now monuments to the importance of knowing where NOT to be cheap.

About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

2 comments on “The Real Reason The Metrodome Roof Collapsed

  1. Chris Humpherys
    December 15, 2010

    I posted a little caption contest at the MetroDome’s expense on my site and had a few quality entries.


    Although I do like the Rise and Fall of the Third Roof.


  2. JW
    December 15, 2010

    As if you needed more proof Minnesotans are cheap: Asking for volunteers to shovel five-foot snow drifts in freezing weather.


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