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Wilfs may add retractable roof to stadium

Vikings Stadium AP

MDS pointed out earlier that the new Vikings stadium may host a Super Bowl.

Given the loose, non-binding quid pro quo that the NFL applies when a city/state coughs up big money for a new stadium, it would be a surprise if it doesn’t happen.

What would be a surprise — and a major one — is if the new stadium has a retractable roof.  Approved via the Minnesota legislative process as a venue with a fixed lid, brothers Zygi and Mark Wilf suggested in a Friday session with reporters that the finished product may have the ability with the press of a button to go topless.

“Well if it’s snowing very, very hard we’ll open up the roof,” Zygi Wilf said, jokingly.

Asked if that means the new building will have a retractable roof, Zygi Wilf said, “Well, I don’t know.”

Mark Wilf was more candid.  “We’re going to try to get the maximum number of features within the budgets. . . .  We’re going to want to make it something special.  And to the extent retractability can get there, we’re going to try to do it.”

And here’s where a cynic (I don’t know any) would say, “Sure, now that you’ve finagled more than $500 million in public money, you can justify spending the extra money that you didn’t have to devote to the project on a retractable roof.”

Then again, how cynical is it to think that the Wilfs didn’t make any serious noise about paying for a retractable roof before the stadium bill was approved because, if they had, plenty of lawmakers would have said, “Why not just spend the money it would take to add a retractable roof on the stadium itself and reduce the burden on the public?”

OK, it’s fairly cynical.  There’s also a chance it’s fairly accurate.

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51 Responses to “Wilfs may add retractable roof to stadium”
  1. sportmentary says: May 11, 2012 7:42 PM

    It would be nice to have a retractable roof for Fall games. I hope they do decide to go that route.

  2. kane337 says: May 11, 2012 7:47 PM

    Your last statement is accurate Florio. That is why they did not initially ask for it.

    Similar reason Arthur Blank initially wanting an open air stadium. After negotiations it’s looking like they are going to get a retractable roof because the public wants it.

  3. duluthvikesfan says: May 11, 2012 7:48 PM

    It was in the final bill that law makers voted on that the team can build it with a retractable roof if they want (presumably to help the Wilf’s chances at getting a MLS team). But it was also clear that the team would take on any extra expense this ads to the project. They knew what they were voting on before they voted so it shouldn’t be a big deal.

  4. duanemn says: May 11, 2012 7:48 PM

    Yeah, Zygi sure looks happy about fleecing the people of Minnesota to fund himself. I’m happy htey are staying, but really angry about watching Zygi smiling his butt off, when he was a total sourpuss that last few months,. You’re welcome Zygi.

  5. purplehayseuss says: May 11, 2012 7:50 PM

    Nobody gets to Billionaire status by letting someone else decide for them – about anything. You’re probably exactly correct, Mike. There are some things you scream about and some things you don’t mention. Especially when there’s almost a billion at stake plus the goodwill of millions of fans.

  6. AlanSaysYo says: May 11, 2012 7:52 PM

    Next you’ll be complaining about the golden bidets in the luxury boxes.

  7. kliplee says: May 11, 2012 7:52 PM

    It seems like such a waste of money to do a retractable roof. 2-3 games with it open and then 5-6 games with it closed?

  8. nygdriveforfive says: May 11, 2012 7:54 PM

    There is no arguing with the sucess of franchises that play in cold weather outdoor stadiums. Now this may not be the right choice for the state of Minnesota in terms of a facility that hosts other attractions but building your team around the weather conditions gives you a competitive advantage.

  9. patriots123456 says: May 11, 2012 7:56 PM

    They may end up with a retractable budget.

  10. sportmentary says: May 11, 2012 7:56 PM

    kliplee The Vikes want to put a bid in for an MLS team. They would need at least a retractable roof for that to happen.

  11. cursedvikingfan says: May 11, 2012 7:58 PM

    ^^^^It will be a year round stadium with the hope of adding an MLS soccer team, so a retractable roof would work pretty well.

  12. twallace612 says: May 11, 2012 7:58 PM

    Duanemn shut up please be a gloomy gus somewhere else good lord were you not loved as a child, we know your not now you tool job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. dericivy says: May 11, 2012 7:59 PM

    Football needs to be played outdoors.

    If we are going to intentionally soften the game up because of safety, then add back in the element of weather.

    Dome’s gotta go.

  14. 7ransponder says: May 11, 2012 8:00 PM

    Adding a retractable roof would be a great nod to the fans if he went through with it. A lot of us wanted open air and while a fixed roof is great too, for hosting other events, well… like the little girl in the taco commercials says: “¿por qué no los dos?”

  15. droogyarblockos says: May 11, 2012 8:00 PM

    your posts are quite mad, florio. you write “What would be a surprise — and a major one — is if the new stadium has a retractable roof” and then you write all the reasons you believe Wilf kept the discussion of a retractable roof under wraps until he got approval for the stadium.

    Yes, he wants a retractable roof, partly because he wants outdoor football and partly because he wans an MLS team.

  16. purplehayseuss says: May 11, 2012 8:10 PM

    kliplee says: May 11, 2012 7:52 PM

    It seems like such a waste of money to do a retractable roof. 2-3 games with it open and then 5-6 games with it closed?
    ***
    You’re missing the bigger picture. Soccer, yes. Concerts all year, show events/conventions all year. The facility will make money year round, and the Vikes only make that money on Vikings home game days. Until there is soccer down the line.

  17. contra74 says: May 11, 2012 8:33 PM

    Carl…paging Carl Gerbschmidt…our stadium is coming along just fine!

  18. rollteal says: May 11, 2012 8:39 PM

    That seems like a overall win win. & if they do have to have a roof on the thing then retractable is the way to go. Just get it done & over with.

  19. nvandy42 says: May 11, 2012 8:40 PM

    The retractable roof makes 100% sense. If the stadium were only going to be for the Vikings use, there would be no roof at all. The Vikings are a Northern team and want to be able to have a home field advantage other than crowd noise. MN winters give the Vikings that advantage, once they get used to it.

    The retractable roof comes into play for the other uses of the stadium. Like other people have mentioned, it would need to be closed for concerts and other events.

    I think the retractable roof is neccessary and will end up paying off in the long run.

  20. dbreinki says: May 11, 2012 8:41 PM

    The Wilfs have the exclusive rights to bring in an MLS Franchise over the next 5 years – per the new Stadium Bill. Which tells you the new venue will have a retractable roof.
    Zygi and Mark have always said they want an ‘Outdoor Stadium’, in fact, they did not want the roof in the first place.

    When the new stadium opens, Zygi has intimated that the Vikes will be playing late season games with the retractable roof OPEN. Just like the old days at Met Stadium. Thank you Zygi! You may be from New Jersey but you do remember the advantage the Vikes had back then in the Cold!

  21. wludford says: May 11, 2012 8:42 PM

    Having a retractable roof makes a lot of sense. It will add to the draw of the stadium, and I think it adds to the appeal and longevity of the stadium, which should be foremost in mind after the Metrodome experience. I’m guessing over half (including pre-season) of the Vikings games would be played with it open, which will add a lot of appeal. Also, if the Wilfs bring in a MLS franchise, they’ll want/need it for that too. Could also potentially draw other events that normally would be outdoors- summer concerts for example- but would like the option of closing the roof if it rained. Given all that, its hard to imagine that a retractable roof would not pay for itself over the life of the stadium.

  22. NFL In L.A. says: May 11, 2012 8:54 PM

    They don’t call the citizens of Minnesota “Gophers” for nothing!

  23. mediasloppy says: May 11, 2012 8:54 PM

    The reason for a retractable roof is mostly for the goal of bringing in a Soccer Franchise. From my understanding a Wilf family member is making it their goal. I think if Wilf wants a retractable roof it’s on his dime…

  24. droogyarblockos says: May 11, 2012 8:56 PM

    nygdriveforfive says:May 11, 2012 7:54 PM

    There is no arguing with the sucess of franchises that play in cold weather outdoor stadiums. Now this may not be the right choice for the state of Minnesota in terms of a facility that hosts other attractions but building your team around the weather conditions gives you a competitive advantage.
    —————–
    fyi: “retractable” means that they get to close the roof when they need to

  25. taintedsaints2009 says: May 11, 2012 8:57 PM

    i’m sure they’ll pay for the retractable roof by adding on a “team support” tax on every item they sell.

  26. duece5 says: May 11, 2012 8:59 PM

    Has anyone called the police, the Coast Guard, Red Cross, your local neighborhood watchgroup on the whereabouts of one Mr. Carl Gerbschmidt?? Anyone? Bueller?

    Old Gerby is walkin’ the streets in a daze……..confused, frustrated, and bewildered that “his” LA Vikes went…..poof!

    His mom and dad are trying to get his mug on a milk carton, even though Gerby is 45. The police interview at Gerby’s parents home:

    Police: Maam when did you last see him?

    Mom: Well, it’s been a few days.

    Police: (bewildered) What do you mean it’s been a few days?? That is parental abuse! Don’t you know I could hall you to the station??!!

    Mom: No, you don’t understand…….he NEVER comes out of the basement, especially when he is gaming…..or when he has to come upstairs to use the bathroom……or shave.

    Police: Shave?!! How old is he?

    Mom: Oh, Carly is ONLY 45 sir……he has a baby face though! Doesn’t look a day over 37!!

    The police leave, choking back tears of laughter…..

  27. bjtmeyer says: May 11, 2012 9:00 PM

    Why even have a retractable roof? From what I cant tell, most stadiums don’t even open the ones they have. I think it would be a waste of money.

  28. johnnyb216 says: May 11, 2012 9:26 PM

    As much as I’ve poked fun of my NFC North counterparts during this entire ordeal, I’m actually a bit excited to see what they build here. The metro dump is the only reason I never went to a packer/viking game in Minneapolis and now I’ll probably start going once the demand for new stadium tickets goes down.

  29. strongsidebacker says: May 11, 2012 9:45 PM

    I wouldn’t waste the money. The Texans have had one for 10 years and it has only been open for 1, maybe 2 games a year even though the fans have been asking for it to be open much more often.

  30. truthserum4u says: May 11, 2012 9:47 PM

    That may be the case, but it’s also fair to note the Wilf’s are making the 3rd largest stadium contribution among NFL owners. That seems to escape most stories on this subject.

  31. anarchopurplism says: May 11, 2012 9:52 PM

    Someone on a previous comment board mentioned an “oven effect” during sunny days when the roof is open. Is this true? Same with 1/2 open type stadiums?

    Florio….u should look into this

  32. raiderapologist says: May 11, 2012 10:04 PM

    How do you name one kid Mark and the other Zygi?

  33. rajbais says: May 11, 2012 10:14 PM

    They should!!! It adds more non-NFL events!!!

  34. jimmysee says: May 11, 2012 10:38 PM

    If there’s a retractable roof, I hope they let the fans, and the other team know what to expect before they get to the park.

  35. realitypolice says: May 11, 2012 10:49 PM

    Mark Wilf was very clear that they were going to do as much as they could WITHIN THE BUDGET that has already been approved, so I don’t see how this comes off as them looking to “add” anything.

    All they were saying is that if they can fit a retractable roof into the design within the current budget, they will. Nothing more, nothing less.

    BTW- they won’t be able to. Retractable roofs are hugely expensive and the extra weight of the mechanicals effects the design and cost of every aspect of the frame and foundation. I would be shocked if these costs were included in the budget.

  36. 4truegrit says: May 11, 2012 11:01 PM

    I must be dreaming, it finally is going to get done, at this point I’m pretty confident the Wilfs will pony up and add all the bells and whistles they desire , retractable roof included.

  37. raiderlyfe510 says: May 11, 2012 11:01 PM

    Minnesota playing I’m a dome is stupid. They’re giving up one of the biggest home field advantages…like the Packers have in December.

  38. lilmiddle78 says: May 11, 2012 11:08 PM

    It’s actually more of an advantage for all the offseason events that will be held at the venue!! Who would rather see a monster truck show on a beautiful summer evening indoors?? Besides, it almost assures the venue of getting booked for the NHL outdoor snow spectacular at least a few times in the next 5-10 years!

  39. rollteal says: May 11, 2012 11:10 PM

    Seems like NFL in LA feels a bit scorned there isn’t a purple & gold (yellow) heading to Los Angeles to join the Lakers !!!

  40. txxxchief says: May 11, 2012 11:11 PM

    The NFL took away a Superbowl (R) at the new Arrowhead because it didn’t have a retractable roof, but they want to have cold weather championship game in NYC. If freezing your ass off is good for you in NYC, it should also be good for you in KC or Minneapolis also!

  41. gdeli says: May 11, 2012 11:22 PM

    Shut up about Los angeles! Geez

  42. raiderapologist says: May 12, 2012 12:17 AM

    txxxchief says: May 11, 2012 11:11 PM

    The NFL took away a Superbowl (R) at the new Arrowhead because it didn’t have a retractable roof, but they want to have cold weather championship game in NYC. If freezing your ass off is good for you in NYC, it should also be good for you in KC or Minneapolis also!

    Arrowhead doesn’t need a retractable roof to get a Super Bowl. They need a beefed up Greyhound route.

  43. realitypolice says: May 12, 2012 12:20 AM

    raiderlyfe510 says:
    May 11, 2012 11:01 PM
    Minnesota playing I’m a dome is stupid. They’re giving up one of the biggest home field advantages…like the Packers have in December.
    ============

    I know it’s hard for people who’s lives revolve around football to understand, but constructing a billion dollar building in Minnesota with no roof on it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    Let’s see, we can have a giant stadium in the middle of our state’s largest city that will host 8 football games and NOTHING else all winter long, or we can have a giant stadium with a ROOF on it that we can use for concerts, trade shows, conventions, NCAA Final Fours, WWE, UFC, etc.

    Hmmm……..You’re right, lets give up all of that revenue so the Vikes can have a bigger home field advantage!

  44. dcviking says: May 12, 2012 1:13 AM

    NFL In L.A. says: May 11, 2012 8:54 PM

    They don’t call the citizens of Minnesota “Gophers” for nothing!

    ————————————-

    yeah and the NFL doesn’t call the citizens of L.A. at all

  45. calbsure says: May 12, 2012 1:44 AM

    Open? Close? Bottom line, it’s being built and the Vikings are staying put.

  46. thermalito says: May 12, 2012 2:28 AM

    this means the Rams are moving back to LA.

  47. tdk24 says: May 12, 2012 2:42 AM

    A retractable roof would be sweet. Even sweeter would be a clause in the stadium bill stating that Al Michaels could never set foot in the facility.

  48. threedeep1998 says: May 12, 2012 3:53 AM

    Say what you want about Carl Gerby but he is the best bit on kfan 100.3

  49. staffordsyear says: May 12, 2012 6:41 AM

    Yea yea so ya got your stadium…only right to keep the nfc north intact the way it is i guess.I will say that it will be nice to go see the lions in a new stadium rather than that dump of the metrodome.

  50. jluns275 says: May 12, 2012 10:11 AM

    nygdriveforfive says:May 11, 2012 7:54 PM

    There is no arguing with the sucess of franchises that play in cold weather outdoor stadiums. Now this may not be the right choice for the state of Minnesota in terms of a facility that hosts other attractions but building your team around the weather conditions gives you a competitive advantage.
    —————–
    fyi: “retractable” means that they get to close the roof when they need to

    _________________________________

    I’m all for outdoor stadiums in cold weather, but your logic is a bit flawed-how many Lombardi Trophies are reside in Buffalo & Cleveland?

  51. olcap says: May 12, 2012 10:29 AM

    “fyi: “retractable” means that they get to close the roof when they need to”
    ———–

    I might be willing to bet your paycheck that that roof will not be retracted for any Viking game when it’s cold, snowy foul weather outside.

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