With the Metrodome’s weekend collapse, TCF Bank Stadium could end up playing host to the Minnesota Vikings’ final home game Monday. University of Minnesota officials expect a decision to be made early this week.
University employees have been working to see whether the stadium could be cleared of snow and prepared in time for the next week’s Monday night football game against the Chicago Bears.
“We’re exploring whether we can even get the stadium ready,” athletics spokesman Garry Bowman said. “There’s a lot of snow in there.”
After the Metrodome roof caved in Sunday morning, the Vikings moved their Monday night game against the New York Giants — originally scheduled for noon on Sunday but pushed back a day because of the snow — to Ford Field in Detroit.
There were early rumors that TCF Bank Stadium could host that game, but it was deemed unfeasible because of the short notice.
But with a week of preparation time before the primetime matchup against Chicago, the Gophers’ stadium is again a contender, if it could be cleared and prepped for one more game this year. Either the Gophers or Vikings would have to round up a crew of food service and game-day operations workers.
Other possible logistical issues include the Metrodome’s 13,000-seat surplus compared to TCF Bank Stadium, and the fact that beer sales are prohibited on campus.
“Enabling the Vikings to play at our stadium presents substantial logistical and operational challenges on such short notice,” University spokesman Dan Wolter said in a release Monday. ”We’ll continue to explore all feasible options to make it possible to accommodate the Vikings on campus to complete their season in the Twin Cities, should that be necessary.”