Metrodome: ‘How do you like me now?’

This is the first year since 1989 that high school football semifinal games have been played anywhere but the Metrodome in Minneapolis, and the Dome is having the last laugh.

Fourteen games are scheduled at high school facilities from Thursday through Saturday. There’s just one problem: It’s Minnesota and it’s snowing.

The games are in peril, the Star Tribune’s Paul Klauda says. Even if the snow is removed from fields, the cold weather may make it unsafe for the kids to play.

The league is looking at possibly consolidating games at other sites to make the most efficient use of snow removal efforts. Edina and Wayzata are each hosting one game, while Osseo and Eden Prairie are each hosting three games. Hopkins is hosting two games.

When the league scheduled the games, it did so expecting that host schools would handle snow removal — perhaps a few inches, if any — and be reimbursed by the league. While schools don’t typically clear fields this late in the football season, schools have equipment to sometimes clear them in March and April for spring sports.

Asked about playing games inside, Merkle (Kevin Merkle, the league’s associate director who oversees football) said he made a call Monday to the Fargodome.

‘‘I’m trying to line up options,’’ he said.

The Metrodome hosted semifinal games beginning in 1990 and the Prep Bowl since 1982. The league moved this year’s Prep Bowl to TCF Bank Stadium on Nov. 21-22. The games will be there again next year before moving to the new Vikings stadium starting in 2016.

Merkle said the league briefly considered moving back the semifinal games to next week and pushing the Prep Bowl back to its usual post-Thanksgiving slot. He said there were “way too many moving parts,’’ including TV and Gopher stadium challenges, to making it work.

  • “Even if the snow is removed from fields, the cold weather may make it unsafe for the kids to play.”

    Wow, seriously?

    I played soccer playoffs in the snow when I was in high school, and we wore shorts.

    /Walked to school 9 miles, uphill both ways.

    • John O.

      Not all that many years ago, I was a MSHSL soccer referee. I was on a crew that officiated a match at St. Louis Park HS. When play was at one end of the pitch, volunteers were shoveling the touchlines and endlines at the opposite end.
      I wonder if the unstated quote from the MSHSL actually is: “Even if the snow is removed from the fields, the cold weather may substantially cut into our revenues and substantially increase our expenses.” /endcynicism

  • Dave

    Just to make sure I understand. Temps in the 20s are unsafe, but bashing your head into another person’s is OK. Aren’t we the state that claims to have built character from our miserable winters?

  • Lisa

    I feel like I’m the only person who didn’t completely hate on the Metrodome. Yes it wasn’t pretty, but it was practical and paid for. Everything we’re doing now screams like we’re trying to keep up with the Jones and that we’re building just to build, not building to fit the needs of the state.

    • Dave

      I also liked the Dome. It was a poor venue for baseball, but really, the building itself had a lot of life left.

    • Jack

      The Metrodome was utilitarian – Minnesotan in nature. This new building appears to be (from drawings) to be gaudy and showy, the anti-Minnesotan.

      Can you imagine what the archaeologists will say thousands of years from now if they were to find it intact buried in a mound of rubble?

      • Dave

        “All that effort and still just cobwebs in their trophy case. Such a shame.”

        • …except for a couple World Series trophies…

  • Gary F

    And next spring ask the same question to the U of MN, and all the college baseball teams in the metro what they think.

  • Robert Warner

    this is Minnesota-perhaps all playoff games should be cancelled and each participant given a certificate of achievement-no hurt feelings and no cold feet

    • Well that’s just precious.

  • kevins

    I heading down for the Gophers/Buckeyes game on Saturday morning…can someone warm my seat?

  • CHS

    I think the risk of injury they refer to is related to frozen ground, not the cold/snow itself per se. If you recall the perfectly good turf at TCF Stadium had to be pulled to install a heating system to keep the ground thawed throughout the season for the Vikings because there would be games played past November and the risk of injury was the reason. I once played a late season game of rugby after the ground had frozen and wound up with a concussion because of it.