Vikings will host Bears outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium

Thumbnail image for Metrodome4.JPG
The Metrodome is out of service, so the Vikes will move across the river.
Are you ready for some outdoor football?

The Metrodome is still torn and frayed from the blizzard, so the Minnesota Vikings are going to host the Chicago Bears at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium on Monday night.

Now two losing teams will have called the stadium home in one season.

The Gophers closed up shop a few weeks ago on their 2010 season. They switched off the lights, shut off the water, let the snow drift in and looked forward to better fortunes next year.

Now they have to open the whole place up again for the Vikings. Normal game-day costs are about $250,000 according to the U. But this is a daunting and expensive task. Teams of 100 temp workers will work around the clock to try and shovel out 2 feet of snow from the stands. The stadium's restroom facilities have to be restarted.

Honoring tickets is also going to be tricky. TCF Bank Stadium seats about 50,000 fans. That 14,000 fewer seats than the Metrodome holds for Vikings games. The team is still working out refunds for the Debacle in Detroit.

And then there's the matter of beer. It hasn't been allowed in the stands for Gopher games. The Vikes are evidently negotiating with the U to see if suds sales can be accommodated.

For what it's worth, the last time the Vikings played outdoors at home was in the old Metropolitan Stadium 29 years ago, on Dec. 20, 1981. They lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 10-6.

Here's the team's official statement.

We are committed to playing Monday night's game in Minnesota in front of our fans. With Mall of America Field at the Metrodome now unavailable, we have turned our full attention to the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium. We have been in close contact with the University and the NFL office since last weekend. Preparation of the stadium is fully underway and University officials have told us they will make every reasonable effort to ensure the stadium will be ready for Monday night. The league office is assisting our staff and the University to ensure the stadium is safe for our fans and meets the primary technical requirements for an NFL game. We appreciate the tremendous cooperation of the University of Minnesota and look forward to completing preparations for the game and turning this into a memorable experience for the State of Minnesota and Vikings fans.

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