League Will Have Final Say In Location

(WSCR)Minneapolis received 17 inches of snow over the weekend. As Minneapolis residents shoveled out their sidewalks, car and driveways, the Metrodome’s roof was collapsing. That collapse forced the Vikings-Giants game to be moved to Ford Field in Detroit. But with more time to prepare for the Bears-Vikings Monday night game, the Vikings were determined to keep the game in Minneapolis.

The Vikings decided to hold Monday night’s NFC North game at the Gophers’ outdoor stadium after inspectors said there wasn’t enough time to repair the dome’s tattered and deflated roof.

The Vikings said NFL officials toured the stadium Wednesday to make sure it was safe for fans and meets other league requirements. The team said the final decision on the venue rested with the league, and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press that “we support the plan to play the game at the University of Minnesota stadium and are assisting the Vikings and the university on preparations.”

The outdoor game will be a test for Minnesotans no longer accustomed to braving the frigid December air to watch pro football. The last outdoor Vikings game at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, which the Metrodome replaced, was held on Dec. 20, 1981 — 29 years to the day before this Monday’s Vikings-Bears matchup. The Vikings lost that game to the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 10-6.

Commission spokesman Pat Milan said cold temperatures were slowing repairs and that it could be three to seven days before a timeline emerges for using the Metrodome again. The question is largely moot for the Vikings, since the Bears game is the home finale and Minnesota won’t make the playoffs.

Wolter said it was not clear ow much it will cost to get TCF Bank Stadium ready for the game and then to host it. He said the Vikings vowed to cover the entire tab, and that the school has a budget of $250,000 for each Gophers game.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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