The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is a multi-purpose stadium located at 900 South 5th Street, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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 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 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 ballpark was the third dome-covered stadium used for major league baseball, following Houston’s Astrodome (1965) and Montreal’s Olympic Stadium (1977).
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 center field corner was located near the intersection of South 4th Street and 11th Avenue South.
The Metrodome’s unique, inflatable roof is made of a Teflon-coated fiberglass cloth, similar to material used for trampolines.
The roof is supported by pressurized air supplied from large fans located along the arena’s roof line.
To keep the dome inflated, the stadium’s internal air pressure must equal or exceed air pressure outside the Metrodome.
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.
A video board, replaced in 2001, is located above the upper deck in left field.
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.
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 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.
Neither the upper nor low concourse offered any view of the field.
In 2010, the Twins moved to their new home, Target Field, located a mile and a half northwest of the Metrodome.
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.