Minneapolis Metrodome – Soon To Be A Lost Ballpark

Minneapolis Metrodome – Soon To Be A Lost Ballpark

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is a multi-purpose stadium located at 900 South 5th Street, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

An aerial view of the Metrodome
Aerial View of the Metrodome, Circa 2002

Named in honor of former Vice President and Minnesota United States Senator Hubert Humphrey, the Metrodome from 1982 through the 2009 season was the home of the Minnesota Twins.

The view of HHH Metrodome from third street
View of HHH Metrodome From Third Street

The National Football League Minnesota Vikings have played their home games at the Metrodome since it opened in 1982. The the University of Minnesota’s football and baseball teams, the Golden Gophers, also have called the Metrodome their home.

The Metrodome with Downtown Minneapolis in background
Metrodome with Downtown Minneapolis in Background

The Metrodome is the only sports facility to host the World Series (1987 and 1991), the Super Bowl (1992), the NCAA Final Four (1992 and 2001), as well as the MLB All-Star game (1985).

The entrance to the Metrodome
Fourth Street And Kirby Puckett Place, Entrance to Metrodome, Gate H

The ballpark was the third dome-covered stadium used for major league baseball, following Houston’s Astrodome (1965) and Montreal’s Olympic Stadium (1977).

The Metrodome view from behind home plate
Metrodome View From Behind Home Plate

Home plate was located behind Gate F near the corner of Kirby Puckett Place and South 5th Street. Third base paralleled Kirby Puckett Place, while first base paralleled 5th and 6th Streets.

The view of the Metrodome's third base seating and left field grandstand
View of the Metrodome’s Third Base Seating and Left Field Grandstand

The center field corner was located near the intersection of South 4th Street and 11th Avenue South.

The view of the Metrodome's first base seating and right field grandstand
View of the Metrodome’s First Base Seating and Right Field Grandstand

The Metrodome’s unique, inflatable roof is made of a Teflon-coated fiberglass cloth, similar to material used for trampolines.

The Metrodome's air-supported roof
The Metrodome’s Air-Supported Roof

The roof is supported by pressurized air supplied from large fans located along the arena’s roof line.

The Metrodome pressurized air support fans located along roof line
Metrodome Pressurized Air Support Fans Located Along Roof Line

To keep the dome inflated, the stadium’s internal air pressure must equal or exceed air pressure outside the Metrodome.

A part of the Metrodome's roof inflation system
Part of the Metrodome’s Roof Inflation System in the Upper Reaches Behind Third Base That Keep the Roof Aloft

The entire Metrodome roof was replaced in 2011 after heavy snow build up caused the roof to collapse. Rather than place the roof in a landfill, a local entrepreneur purchased a large section of the roof material and now offers pieces of it for sale as souvenirs.

The view of center field from upper deck
View of Centerfield From Upper Deck, HHH Metrodome

A video board, replaced in 2001, is located above the upper deck in left field.

The HHH Metrodome video board in 2002
HHH Metrodome Video Board Circa 2002

The home bullpen was located beyond the Twin’s dugout in foul territory, along the third base line. The visiting bullpen was located along the first base line.

An image ofKyle Lohse warming up in the Metrodome bullpen
Kyle Lohse Warming Up in Metrodome Bullpen

In this video from August 2002, Minnesota Twin David Ortiz, now known as Big Papi, is standing in the bullpen pregame taking practice swings during Kyle Lohse’s warm up pitches. Afterwards he even stops to sign an autograph.

Located in right field were over 7,000 retractable seats that were used when the Metrodome hosted football.

THe HHH Metrodome wall of seats
HHH Metrodome Wall Of Seats Behind Right Field

The Metrodome’s lower concourse, which ran along the entire perimeter of the ballpark at the top of the lower seating bowl, had the feel of a 1980’s mall food court.

The HHH Metrodome concourse food stand
HHH Metrodome Concourse Food Stand

Neither the upper nor low concourse offered any view of the field.

T.C. Bear and a young fan
On the HHH Metrodome Concourse With T.C. Bear and a Young Fan

In 2010, the Twins moved to their new home, Target Field, located a mile and a half northwest of the Metrodome.

Target field under construction
Target Field Under Construction August 2008 (Looking Toward Home Plate)
Target field under construction in August 2008
Target Field Under Construction August 2008 (Looking Toward Left Field)

The end is near for the Metrodome. After the 2013 football season, the Minnesota Vikings will depart the Metrodome and current plans call for the stadium’s demolition soon thereafter. A new stadium to house the Vikings will be built on the footprint of the Metrodome, with the Vikings scheduled to return for the 2016 season. Hopefully those in charge of designing the Vikings new stadium will find a way to pay homage to the Metrodome and perhaps find a way to keep a piece of the old stadium in place for future generations of sports fans to see and appreciate. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The Metrodome was demolished in 2014. U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, was constructed on the former site of the Metrodome and a new era of football began on that field with the 2016-17 season].

Byron Bennett