Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Tenants: Minnesota Twins (AL); Minnesota Vikings (NFL)
Opened: April 3, 1982
Surface: SporTurf (1982 to 1986), Astroturf (1987 to 2003), FieldTurf (2004 to date)
Capacity: 55,883 (baseball); 63,000 (football)
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Construction: Barton Malow (Southfield, MI)
Owner: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission
Cost: $68 million
Minnesota Twins tickets:
Location: Left field (NE), Fourth Street South; third base (NW), 501 Chicago Avenue South (Kirby Puckett Place); first base (SW), Fiftth Street South; right field (SE), Eleventh Avenue South.
Dimensions: Left field: 344 (1982), 343 (1983); left-center: 385; center field: 407 (1982), 408 (1983); right-center: 367; right field: 327; backstop: 60; apex of dome: 186; foul territory: small.
Fences: Left field: 7 (canvas, 1982), 13 (6 plexiglass above 7 canvas, 1983); center field: 7 (canvas, 1982); right field: 7 (canvas, 1982), 13 (canvas, early in 1983), 23 (canvas, later in 1983).
The Metrodome is covered by more than 10 acres of Teflon-coated fiberglass. It is the only air-supported dome in the major leagues, and fans enter the park through revolving doors that prevent release of the air that keeps the dome upright. The roof requires 250,000 cubic feet of air pressure per minute to remain inflated, and on at least three occasions slight tears caused by heavy snows have caused the roof to deflate. The right-field wall is 23 feet tall and covered with plastic. Called "the Big Blue Baggy" and "Hefty Bag" by players, the plastic-coated fence hides 7,600 retractable seats that are used when the stadium is in its football configuration.
- A power-hitter’s park.
- Similar to the domed stadiums in Seattle, Pontiac (Michigan), and Vancouver. All four were built by the same engineering firm.
- Sections 107 to 113 are football seats that in baseball season are tilted up and back to create a 40-foot wall behind the right-field fence.
- The white, air-supported Teflon fabric roof makes it difficult to see the ball when hit high in the air.
- The roof collapsed on April 14, 1983, from the weight of heavy snow.
- Twins batter Randy Bush hit a ball off the roof in 1983. The ball was caught in foul territory for an out by Toronto Blue Jays catcher Buck Martinez. Rob Deer hit two such flyball outs to shortstop in consecutive at bats on May 30, 1992.
- On May 4, 1984, in the top of the fourth inning, Oakland A’s batter Dave Kingman hit a ball through the roof. It should have been a homer, but Kingman was only credited with a double.
- 1987 Playoffs and World Series set new decibel records for sound in the "Thunderdome."
- Hosted the 1985 All-Star game.
- Balls bounced very high off the carpet that was used from 1982 to 1986.
- More home runs tend to be hit when the air-conditioning is turned off.
- The curvature of the wall behind home plate causes wild pitches and passed balls to bounce directly toward first base.
More on the Metrodome:
Recommended Reading (bibliography):
- Uncovering the Dome by Amy Klobuchar.
- Stadium Games: Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles by Jay Weiner.
- Fodor's Baseball Vacations, 3rd Edition: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballparks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
- The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
- Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
- Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
- The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
- Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
- Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit (2nd Edition) by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
- Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
- Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.
- Modern Marvels - Domed Stadiums (VHS).
34 Kirby Puckett Place
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
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The Metrodome and Minneapolis by Munsey & Suppes.
View inside the Metrodome © 1999 by Ira Rosen.
Aerial view of the Metrodome by Munsey & Suppes.
Street view of the Metrodome by Munsey & Suppes.
Updated April 2005
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