Imponderables: Celebrating the Metrodome

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The Minnesota Twins today announced plans for celebrating their final season in the Metrodome. Each game will feature at least one of 100 “Metrodome memories,” throwback uniforms, and the naming of an all-time Metrodome team.

Let’s hit the Wayback Machine:


There’s a romance to baseball if it’s played on grass on a sunny day or a nice evening. And you can’t experience that in a football stadium, particularly not in a domed football stadium.

That was Jerry Bell, the chief Twins lobbyist for a new stadium in 1999.

Part of the reason for a new baseball stadium — thank you, Hennepin County taxpayers — was that the Metrodome, well, stinks for baseball. It was, conventional wisdom said, a sterile football stadium that had absolutely no charm.

Are we supposed to get misty eyed about it now?

  • boB from WA

    Let’s not get misty eyed for it. Instead lets gear up for when they implode this edifice, much like they did to the Kingdome in Seattle. Now that was a memory!

  • No, not about the building itself, Bob, but all that happened there for Twins and their fans:

    – two world series championships

    – a handful of pretty convincing division titles

    – tons of individual commendations and milestones

    – the entirety of Kirby Puckett’s career

    – the rescue of the team from contraction

    A few of my favorite Metrodome Memories:

    – Games 6 and 7 of the ’91 World Series—the greatest ever.

    – Kirby Puckett’s first Major League (game-winning) grand slam.

    – Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor’s 3,000th hits.

    – My dad taking my brother and I out of school for a day game.

    Anyone else have any?

  • Bob Collins

    I never really had a problem with the Dome, especially when I’d go to the game in April. I find nothing endearing about outdoor baseball when it’s 30 degrees.

    That said, the first time I left the Metrodome — you know, when you get shot out the door? — I realized that there’s something wrong with an edifice where the most fun you have is leaving.

  • I’ve spent so much time in the Metrodome that I can’t help but get nostalgic about it. I started going to games there when I was a kid. We had partial season tickets for the Twins from the start and suffered through some awfully bad seasons . . . but still had a lot of fun at the park anyway.

    I was there the night the roof tore and we all rushed into the hallways for a while only to resume the game a while later . . . and have RD give up the game.

    Was there for pretty much all the other odd Metrodome stuff– like the time a game was suspended while tied in extra innings and then was resumed the next day.

    And I was there for a lot of games each season that they played in the Dome. Went to the 1985 All Star Game. And was there for some of the ALCS and World Series games in ’91. Game 7 of ’91 is one of the high points of my life.

    I saw Johan Santana strike out 17 batters in a game and saw Scott Baker come so-very-close to a perfect game. Watched the first games of Kirby Puckett and Joe Mauer. And sure, I witnessed some bizarre “only in the Metrodome” plays.

    I got married on the field three years ago before a Twins-White Sox game. (Johan struck out 13, Nathan struck out 3, Twins won.) When I say that some of the best days/nights of my life were spent in the Dome, it’s true.

    I know the Dome isn’t a good place to play or watch baseball and I look forward to making new memories in the new stadium, but I’ll always be fond of the Dome. Too many good memories there not to be.

  • Kat

    My first baseball games as a kid were at the ‘Dome. My childhood heroes Kirby and Gladden and Hrbek all played there. My grown-up heroes Radke and Santana and Hunter did. I’ll tear up for the memories, yeah.

    I’ll also tear up because there is nothing, really nothing, like being inside the Dome, warm, dry, and happy, watching your team play while a huge thunderstorm rages outside. When it’s 70 and sunny out, the Dome has little to no appeal, but I love hearing the muffled thunderclaps on a stormy night.

    Also: there’s a certain perverse joy to witnessing the stunned confusion on a visiting outfielder’s face when a ball hits the speakers or lights or seems to disappear against the roof.

    I’ll shed a tear for the Dome.

  • As someone who was opposed to the new stadium, this whole “celebrate the dome” thing is all silly. Especially after all the talk about how unsatisfying it is to play in all these years.

    We just went through a gopher football season with a bunch of “Metrodome Memories” and the “Pride of Minnesota” halftime shows remembering all their favorite halftime memories at the dome.

    I find it incredibly hard to believe that Twin and gopher football games are going to be satisfying when the winter snow flies, but then I don’t even care… except when my wife or friends bring me along.

  • j

    That said, the first time I left the Metrodome — you know, when you get shot out the door? — I realized that there’s something wrong with an edifice where the most fun you have is leaving.

    Haha…and how fun it is. I hate when they close off the main exits and you have to the revolving doors.

    I think the dome represents a good deal of practicality that we Minnesotans used to have. Sure it was ugly for football and non-ideal for baseball, but it got the job done and could seat a decent amount of people. And, per the wikipedia page (which references the U of M), it’s “the only public stadium in the United States that does not rely on a continuing tax subsidy to finance operations, maintenance or debt payments.” That sounds pretty good to me.

    When I saw my first MLB game outside a few years ago, it was great, and I couldn’t believe what I was missing. But how strange and superficial the argument is to build a multimillion-dollar structure…”Boy, it would be nice to be outside for a few hours.”

  • Hmmm… what if TCF or Target get bailout money?

    Link

    So basically the tax payers give money to Citi to get naming rights to a stadium that the tax payers partially built so the Mets can raise ticket prices to a level that your average New Yorker cannot afford.