Vikings & Metrodome Officials State That New Field Turf Is Needed
Along with the recently inflated new roof, the 29-year-old Dome requires new turf because of damage from the roof collapse in the winter.
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) on Thursday is expected to select a bid to replace the turf before the Minnesota Vikings preseason begins Aug. 27 — if the game is still scheduled pending a settlement of the NFL lockout.
Last month, commissioners agreed to seek bids to replace the turf while studying whether replacement was needed.
An independent report to be submitted to commissioners Wednesday shows the turf spent too much time under water to remain viable, said Bill Lester, the commission’s executive director. He said the study will show the drowned turf could spawn mold or develop other problems.
“We knew this was a possibility,” MSFC Chairman Ted Mondale said on Tuesday.
The Dome’s chief engineer, Steve Maki, had said last month the field looked to be in “good shape.” Apparently that isn’t the case.
“Because of the collapse and the aftermath of the collapse, there was an excessive amount of water on the field for an extended amount of time,” Lester said.
He said the staff would recommend the commission go with the lowest qualified bid of $476,000. He did not identify the vendor, but he said the high bid was $784,000.
Lester said an insurance claim for replacement costs has been submitted, but that he didn’t know whether it would be covered. The new turf vendor must be acceptable to the Vikings, and Lester said it is.
The turf was only one year old when the Metrodome’s roof collapsed. Its extremely unfortunate that this happened and so many additional repairs are needed. Just when the stadiums roof was reinflated we are given this chunk of bad news. Regardless of the price the Vikings will need to do everything to get the new turf installed before the first Vikings preseason game in August.