Metrodome Roof Collapse!



Video of the collapse!!!:

This happened about 5 AM. Too much snow, and the Metrodome is basically a big balloon. There is a live snowcam here but the signal is poor. This is why the Vikings game had been moved to Monday, for fear of there being too much snow.

If you work in one of the skyscrapers downtown, this is your chance to get one of those once in a lifetime photos!

This has happened before but no one can remember how long it takes to get it back up again. Or, at least, Amanda, Huxley and I can’t remember.

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13 thoughts on “Metrodome Roof Collapse!

  1. Awwww, I thought football didn’t care about little things like the weather. A little bit of snow on the ground or in the air is only supposed to stop wimpy sports like baseball. Oh well, I guess I learned something new this week.

  2. One of the times it collapsed, it was four days before a Vikings game (or was it a Twins game?). They had it repaired and reinflated in time for the game, so it doesn’t necessarily take that long.

    Apparently, though, it will take too long in this case because they are moving the game to Detroit. Too bad the TCF Bank Stadium is already shuttered for the winter and cannot be prepared in time to host the game or people would get a reminder of why they switched to an indoor stadium. I think tomorrow would have been close to setting a record for coldest regular season game….

  3. I always thought the inflated roof (actually, more like inflating the whole building under positive pressure) was neat. But I never did understand why they didn’t build it with a lot more slope to shed the snow. There is probably a reason, since none of this type of building seem to do it, but I have no clue what it is.

  4. Back in ’77 or ’78 the field house roof at my alma mater collapsed in a high wind; it was one of the first inflatable such roofs in the country. I made some extra cash helping with cleanup. Couple years later, it happened again. The power went out on a windy night, so the backup generators kicked in. The backup fans came on and, having been installed backwards, sucked the air right out of the building. Extra cash again!

  5. What they should do is have the ability to spray de-icing solution on like they do at airports. Since it is a roof, they could collect the runoff and recycle it. If they used something like calcium chloride brine, it would be pretty cheap.

    In airports they use ethylene glycol because it is less corrosive. They could do that here, but it is more expensive than salt and harder to store because it is a liquid, and it is toxic.

    If you used solid calcium chloride, you could make real concentrated brine and then heat it by direct addition of steam. You take the runoff, heat it up with steam again and add more solid to bring the brine strength up.

    You could used fixed spray heads, like fire hose spray nozzles.

  6. My understanding is that it operating within parameters. For lighter snowfall, it does indeed shed the snow. There are two layers so that the air between the layers can be heated to help the shedding (I think you can see water in the video). For heavy snowfalls like this one, it tears, is patched, and is back up again after a few days. Compare that with what happens with a heavy dump of snow on a more rigid structure.

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