For Tim Czmowski, a Vikings season ticket holder from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a single afternoon stands out among all he’s seen in the Metrodome. It may very well be the most famous moment in Metrodome history, maybe even rivaling the World Series wins by the Twins in 1987 and 1991.
Czmowski was in the stands that day in 1998, for the NFC Championship between the Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons.
“That game, we were chanting Super Bowl, and Gary Anderson, as everybody knows, first miss in two years. And you know when that went a little bit left, my heart sank, and then that feeling of failure came over us. And when Morton Andersen made it, I’ll never forget it. The entire stadium was silent. All you could hear was a little bit of noise from down on the field, and that was the Atlanta Falcon players cheering. It was a haunting sound. And it was a long drive home back to South Dakota.”
Even legendary Vikings running back Robert Smith counts that game among the most memorable moments ever in the Dome.
Czmowski was on the field himself on Saturday night, starting the weekend-long good bye for him and about 6,000 of his fellow fans as the Vikings play the last game ever in the Metrodome today. Fans tossed touchdown passes to each other in the endzone, they posed in the prow of the inflatable Viking ship that the players emerge from as they take the field, and fans made a brief pass through the Vikings locker room one last time.
For the most part, they were ready to put the Metrodome behind them.
The narrow concourses, the plastic seats, the cramped concession areas and the legendarily inadequate rest rooms were among the things the fans won’t miss. The Vikings best days were history by the time they moved indoors: their fruitless Super Bowl appearances ended in 1977, after losing in 1975, 1973 and 1970, as well.
The team moved into the dome in September, 1982.
Not everybody, though, is ready to see the Metrodome go. Maria Rodriguez, of Brooklyn Park, said the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome just has too many fond football memories to let go just yet.
“I’m going to be sad that its gone. I don’t want the new one,” she said. “I’m going to miss it. I love watching the game here.”