Minnesota Metrodome roof collapses after snow storm

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Officials in Minneapolis say no one was hurt when the inflatable roof of the Metrodome collapsed overnight.

The roof collapsed under the weight of a snowstorm that dumped 17 inches of snow on the city Saturday. The executive director of the commission that runs the dome, Bill Lester, says a crew that had been clearing snow was pulled off Saturday night due to safety concerns. He says the crew stopped work well before the collapse.

The roof collapse has put the Vikings-Giants game in doubt. It had already been postponed to Monday. Now Lester says it may be moved to the University of Minnesota or to another NFL domed stadium.

Earlier report:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The inflatable roof of the Metrodome, where the Minnesota Vikings play, collapsed Sunday following a snow storm that dumped 17 inches on Minneapolis.

Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, said the damage was being assessed Sunday morning and the agency would issue a statement later. He had no details yet on what had happened.

A Minneapolis police spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a phone message. It wasn’t clear whether anyone was injured in the collapse, which happened overnight.

The Vikings’ Sunday NFL football game against the New York Giants had already been pushed to Monday after the storm kept the Giants from getting to Minneapolis.

The city got 17.1 inches of snow during the storm that started Friday night and ended around 10 p.m. Saturday, said James McQuirter, a National Weather Service meteorologist. He said the storm was one of the five largest to hit the Twin Cities. Some surrounding communities got more than 21 inches of snow, he said.

The Metrodome roof has failed three times before. It deflated in 1981, 1982 and 1983, each time due to tears caused by heavy snow. The April 14, 1983, collapse forced the postponement of the Twins’ game with California, which had been the only postponement. A slight tear also delayed a Twins game briefly in 1986.

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