Raising The Roof! Mall Of America Field Roof Inflates

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 13, 2011 – 9:28 am

Click here to view a time-lapse video of the inflation.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the inflation.

So often we see construction projects – whether it be houses or roads or stadiums – ultimately fall behind schedule and/or go over budget because of unforeseen complications. But so far that hasn’t been the case with roof repairs at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome.

The latest landmark event in the construction project to resurrect the roof happened early this morning, as the roof was actually inflated. It was thought the roof inflation could take anywhere from 2-3 hours, but it actually took about 45 minutes for the crew to get the job done.

By all accounts, everything went off without a hitch, which has become a theme for the project.

Vikings Owner / President Mark Wilf issues the following statement:

We appreciate the efforts of the MSFC and the local unionized workforce who spent countless hours replacing the Metrodome roof since its collapse last December. Today’s roof inflation means the project is ahead of schedule and ensures that Mall of America Field will be the Vikings home during the 2011 season. We are excited about getting our home field advantage back and playing in front of Vikings fans this year. 

Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission authorities explained on Wednesday that the roof construction project remains on time, on budget and has seen only one minor accident. It’s a far cry from delayed road construction projects or delays in home construction that that seem standard.

We were at Mall of America Field this morning, so photos and even video of the roof raising will be posted on in the near future, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here are a few notes I jotted down in my notebook during this morning’s events…

– The budget for the construction project is just short of $23 million, with $18 million allocated for the roof. The new roof is made of teflon-coated fiber glass and is about 10 acres in size.

– MSFC Chairman Ted Mondale was on-hand for a press conference after the roof was inflated, and he expressed confidence that the project will be in its final stage by August 1, that the stadium will host its first community event on August 20 and that the stadium will be ready to host its first Vikings game on August 27, when the team is scheduled to play its first home preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

– Vikings VP of Public Affairs/Stadium Development Lester Bagley told reporters the team is grateful to the MSFC and the labor force working on the stadium for their work to replace the roof and that the team is excited to get its home-field advantage back. Bagley also said that the roof-raising is another symbol that the football season in nearing. Lastly, Bagley said that the team is still committed to working out a long-term stadium solution in Minnesota.

– Mondale said the MSFC is still unsure if the field surface will need to be replaced, but that the MSFC has already commenced the process of acquiring bids in the event that a new surface is required. Obviously the surface was exposed to damage not only by the roof’s collapse in December but also to weather conditions in the months after the collapse as well as damage by the construction equipment that was inside the stadium during roof repairs. If the field surface does need to be replaced, MSFC Director of Facilities/Engineering Steve Maki said the timeline for replacement would be August 1-18.

– Maki also pointed out the stadium’s roof will have a lower profile – meaning it will be less “poofy” – than the previous roof, largely because the material composing the roof is stronger this time around and also because of other engineering factors.

– MSFC Executive Director Bill Lester described the roof construction project as “a long, arduous journey,” but he also expressed gratitude to the construction crew and he said that Wednesday’s events were encouraging as the project continues to near its conclusion.

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Mall of America Field’s Roof Is Rising Today

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on July 13, 2011 – 7:52 am

For the first time since early December, the roof covering Mall of America Field at the Metrodome is being inflated today after being worked on and replaced by workers over the past several months thanks to the blizzard that took said roof down on December 10 and 11.

The process started at 7 a.m. today and will wrap up later the morning, if all goes well.

The Vikings are slated to take on the Dallas Cowboys in preseason play on Saturday, Aug. 27, which of course will be the first game at the Metrodome since the Vikings 38-14 win over the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 5, 2010.

We’ll have more coverage of the “roof inflation” in the coming days here on, including a cool time-lapse video showing the start-to-finish process of the inflation.

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