Metrodome Deflation Set for Saturday... If Weather Cooperates

Updated: 01/17/2014 4:27 PM By: Leslie Dyste

Photo: Photo: KSTP/Tom Hauser

If the weather cooperates, Minneapolis' skyline will be forever changed Saturday.

The Metrodome's giant white top will disappear from the skyline after standing for more than 32 years. Power inside the dome will be cut off, which will allow the roof to begin deflating.

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, said while the deflation is scheduled for Saturday, if winds are too high, the deflation will be delayed. 

Many Minnesotans have fond memories of the Metrodome. Many others can't wait to see it torn down. 

Bill Lester is somewhere in between. "There have been thousands of great events in this place," Lester said as he took one last tour of the stadium he ran for 25 years as executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

Lester retired a couple years ago and hasn't been in the dome since last summer. He'll miss all the great times in the stadium, like two World Series, a Super Bowl and a Final Four.

He presided over all those events, plus countless Twins, Vikings, Gopher football and Timberwolves games. But he acknowledges it's time to move on to the next generation of domed stadium.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is set to vote on the operational plan and budget for the Downtown East parking ramp, right next to where the stadium will be. The meeting began at 9 a.m. Friday.

Look back at some of KSTP's past coverage of the Metrodome here.

You can also see an extended interview with Kelm-Helgen here.