The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is a domed sports stadium in
downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It replaced Metropolitan
Stadium, which was on the current site of the Mall of America in
Bloomington, and Memorial Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.
Field - 343 ft
Left-Center - 385 ft
Center Field - 408 ft
Right-Center - 367 ft
Right Field - 327 ft
Backstop - 60 ft
Dome Apex: 186 ft
Construction on the Metrodome began on December 20, 1979 and was funded
by the state of Minnesota. The dome is air-inflated and requires 250,000
ft³/min (120 m³/s) of air to keep it inflated. Three times in the
stadium's history, heavy snows have caused a small puncture in the roof
and caused it to deflate. Varying air pressure due to a severe storm once
contributed to a dramatic deflation during a game.
During its early years of operation, the field at the Metrodome was
surfaced with SuperTurf, which was disliked by both football and baseball
players as being too hard. This surface was upgraded to Astroturf
in 1987, and in 2004, the Twins had a newer artificial surface, called
FieldTurf, installed. FieldTurf is thought to be a closer approximation to
natural grass than Astroturf in its softness, appearance, and feel.
The 1985 Baseball All-Star Game, games of the 1987 and the 1991 World
Series, Super Bowl XXVI in 1992, and the 1992 and 2001 NCAA Final Four
were all held at the Metrodome.
to the Metrodome!
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The stadium is named after former mayor of Minneapolis, US Senator and US
Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey.
The Metrodome is both beloved and reviled by Twins fans. The Twins have
won both of their World Series championships in its friendly confines (and
winning both Series by winning all four games held at the Dome), and the
white roof, quick turf, and the right-field wall (or "Baggie")
can provide a substantial home-field advantage for the Twins. Because it
was designed for football, the Metrodome has severe disadvantages as a
baseball venue. The way many seats are situated forces some fans to crane
their necks to see home plate. Neither the main nor the upper concourse
has visibility to the field, meaning fans risk missing play whenever they
leave for the concession stands. The Dome's sight lines tend to be below
average, with nearly 1,400 seats having obscured or partial visibility to
the playing field.
The Metrodome's right-field wall is composed of the seven-foot-high
(2.1 m) fence around the whole outfield and a 16-foot-high (4.9 m) plastic
wall extension in right field, known as the "Baggie" or the
"Hefty Bag." The seats above and behind the baggie are home run
territory, the baggie itself is part of the outfield wall. Fenway
Park's "Green Monster," a comparable but taller feature, is
17 feet (5.2 m) closer to home plate than the Baggie is, so batters who
hit short, high fly balls are not typically helped by it. However, it is
an attractive target for left-handed power hitters, and it is not uncommon
for upper-deck home runs to be hit to right field. When in a rectangular
configuration for football and other small-field events, the baggie is
taken down and the seats behind it extend to form complete lower-deck
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome!
Early in the final
game of the AL Division Series with the
Yankees, at the Metrodome on October 9,
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
The Metrodome's roof is made of two layers of Teflon fabric, and is
supported by positive air pressure. To maintain the differential air
pressure, spectators usually enter and leave the seating and concourse
areas through revolving doors, since the use of regular doors is
accompanied by a strong breeze. The double-walled construction allows
warmed air to circulate beneath the top of the dome, melting accumulated
snow. However, on November 19, 1981, a rapid accumulation of over a foot
of snow caused the roof to collapse, requiring it to be reinflated.
Because it's unusually low to the playing field (172 feet/52.4 m), the
air-inflated dome is occasionally touched by the ball, altering play. Any
ball which strikes the Dome roof remains in play; if it lands in foul
territory it becomes a foul ball, if it lands in fair territory it becomes
a fair ball. Any ball which becomes caught in the roof over fair ground
(which has only happened once) is a ground rule double. More common is for
a ball to strike an overhead speaker, which are even closer to the playing
surface; such balls are also alive and in-play (although starting with the
2005 MLB season, the ground rules for balls hitting the speakers have been
changed). The low roof has never been a concern for events other than
The Metrodome is located near the junction of Interstate 94 and
Interstate 35W, and many fans come by car. There is limited parking in
surface lots throughout eastern downtown, ranging from $5 for a Twins
game, to $50 for a close stall at a Vikings game. On-street meters provide
the lowest parking rate. A new option as of 2004 is the Downtown East/Metrodome
station on the light rail Hiawatha Line. Many people also come by bus,
whether on a charter or on the regular regional bus system. A shuttle from
the University of Minnesota is available when the Gophers play games at
Tailgating has often been a popular pre-game activity for football
fans, and many nearby parking lots have been available in the past for
people who want to start early. However, in recent years, new development
in the downtown region of Minneapolis has meant that these parking lots
have begun to disappear. In 2004, some new options had to be considered
for fans. The eventual result was setting up a new tailgating site quite a
distance away, but with shuttle bus service provided.
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