Vikings fans have gotten a Ghost-of-Christmas-Future glimpse of what it would be like for the home team to play a home game in a place other than their home of 50 years. In six days, Vikings fans may get a chance to see what it would be like to once again play in a home without a dome.
The folks who run TCF Bank Stadium, the open-air facility in which the University of Minnesota plays its home games, need to know by the end of the day whether the venue needs to be unwinterized in time for a Winter Solstice Eve game to be televised nationally on ESPN. Per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the powers-that-be need six days to get the place ready for some football.
“It’s not as easy as just throwing a switch or a valve and walking away,” University of Minnesota assistant athletic director Scott Ellison said. “You have to open up the water line and make sure there’s no leaks and make sure everything is running properly.”
Ellison pointed out that the stadium isn’t designed for late-December football. “It wasn’t built for those types of temperatures, so there are some other issues that we have to look at as far as making sure that if we do open a concession stand for a game, we don’t freeze a sprinkler pipe or freeze water lines once they are back in service,” Ellison said.
The biggest challenge? Removing all the snow from the same storm that collapsed the Metrodome.
There’s a chance that the Metrodome also will be ready. If the Vikings want to be sure that they’ll be playing in Minnesota on Monday night, it would be wise (but expensive) to commence aggressive efforts to prepare both places for the game.