The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, as the last four letters imply, is a domed stadium. It is one of a short list of air supported domes. Basically the roof of the Metrodome is a two layer fabric supported by internal air pressure. Or rather, it was prior to the blizzard that hit Minneapolis last weekend:
Basically seeing a game in the Metrodome was something like visiting a stadium sized hot air balloon that isn’t ever going to leave the ground. The stadium features double wall construction with revolving doors to maintain the separate internal air pressure and keep the dome inflated, sustained by twenty fans. The dome itself is composed of two layers. During the winter, warm air is piped between the layers to prevent snow build up.
That last part apparently isn’t foolproof.
The dome collapsed due to snow three times in the past, in 1982, 1983, and 1986. Had a good run there, but the 17 inches of snow dumped on the city last weekend proved enough to bring the dome down again. The dome itself tore in multiple spots but there was no other damage.
The Vikings – Giants game scheduled to be played that night has been moved to Ford Field tonight.