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Nation & World

Deflation of Metrodome scheduled for Saturday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis skyline could begin to change this weekend.

Power inside the Minnesota Vikings’ Metrodome is scheduled to be cut Saturday and the giant white top that’s been part of the skyline for more than 32 years will begin deflating. But if the wind is too strong, the deflation will be delayed, said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

Many Minnesotans have fond memories of the Metrodome, while others can’t wait to see it torn down.

Bill Lester, who ran the stadium for 25 years as executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, is somewhere in between.

“There have been thousands of great events in this place,” Lester told KSTP-TV as he took one last tour of the stadium.

Lester retired a couple years ago. He said he’ll miss all the great times in the stadium, including two World Series, a Super Bowl and a Final Four. He presided over all those events, plus countless Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and University of Minnesota Gopher football games.

When the plug is pulled on the Metrodome and the Teflon roof settles into the bowl, you don’t necessarily have to bundle up to watch the event. The Vikings have hired EarthCam, of Hackensack, N.J., to stream the deflation live on the team’s website. Fans will also be able to watch the new Vikings stadium as it’s built.

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