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Metrodome roof decision expected soon

ST. PAUL -- The new Metrodome chief says the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission may make a decision on the facility's roof soon.

"It could be next week or the week after," Ted Mondale told a House committee Wednesday.

That is when the commission is expected to receive a report about how much it will cost to repair the roof, which was damaged by a snow storm.

Insurance will pay $1 million of the repair cost.

Many of the legislative committee's questions dealt with the possibility of a new stadium.

"The roof is on the ground and the lease is up," Mondale said.

The Minnesota Vikings football team says it will not play in the dome after next season, leaving the facility's future in doubt.

"If we can't get it done this year, there is a real question about when we ever could get it done," Mondale said of a new stadium.

Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, said he is concerned about events other than Vikings games, such as college baseball games played in the dome.

Bill Lester said the Vikings bring $6.5 million a year for the budget that is about $12 million.

Urdahl said any new Vikings stadium will need to be funded by those who use and benefit from a stadium because there is no appetite to use state funds for one.

Mondale said if the Vikings are promised a new stadium and the Metrodome roof can be fixed that he is optimistic the Vikings would stay in the dome until a new one is built.

Lester said it would cost $5 million to demolish the Metrodome.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.