Metrodome roof requires full replacement

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January 31, 2011 // UPDATED 5:39 pm - February 10, 2011
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott

// Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission pledges to have the work done by August, total costs estimated at $18 million //

 DOWNTOWN EAST — It’s official: The Metrodome is going to need a full roof replacement.

Mark Wagner, of Texas-based engineering firm Walter P. Moore, delivered a final damage assessment to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) on Feb. 10.

The damage to the roof’s fabric and lining, he said, “is so widespread, we don’t believe it’s feasible…to commence upon a spot-based repair procedure…We do not recommend a partial replacement.” The roof, he said, will need to be replaced in its entirety.

The cost to put a new roof in place by the start of the NFL preseason, in August, is estimated to be $18.3 million, according to Commissioner Steve Maki. Although once consultant fees and other extras are added in, the total could balloon to $19 million.

MSFC Chair Ted Mondale says he anticipates a full reimbursement of losses from the Metrodome’s insurance provider, FM Global. He said that initial meetings with the company have been “positive” and “cooperative,” and that he expects the company “to move quickly” to process the Commission’s claim.

Mondale also pledged to have the new roof in place by the time the Vikings host their first pre-season game, presumably in mid-August. The official 2011 NFL preseason schedule has not yet been released.

“It’s my intent to have significant rewards for hitting that date, and penalties for not,” he said. “We believe it’s realistic to have this done in time for the Vikings to play here this season.”

The MSFC will immediately open the project to contractor bidding, with the plan of accepting a bid by Feb. 25. Construction work would begin immediately, Maki said, with dismantling of the current roof continuing through March, and the installation of a new roof beginning in April. The ideal completion date would be August 1.

“It’s going to be a hard push to achieve that date, but it is our goal to achieve it,” said Maki.