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...but what does this have to do with Brett Favre?
December 12, 2010 5:30 PM   Subscribe

You may have heard that the weather in the midwest has been somewhat inclement. Hoping for a scoop, FoxNews left their cameras running in the snowed-under MetroDome last night. The result was somewhat dramatic.
posted by jadayne (68 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Really incredible! I assume there was no one inside when this happened?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:34 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Astounding! Reminds me of the 2006 Basmanny market collapse, Moscow.

I'm flying into Minneapolis tomorrow for company business, and I just can't wait to see the Midwest snow again. Even if it is destructive and hellish, it beats the hell out of the unchanging heat of southern California.
posted by fake at 5:36 PM on December 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


I used to have a small piece of the Pontiac Silverdome roof from when it collapsed. It was a really thick piece of plastic coated canvas. I remember being amazed at how fragile it seemed to build a roof out of and how ingenious the architectural design of the inflatable dome was. I guess you just have to expect it to collapse every ten to twenty years or so.
posted by Roger Dodger at 5:45 PM on December 12, 2010


Good thing it wasn't filled with storm refugees.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:47 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm in Minneapolis, and this storm has shutdown the entire metro area. It is very reminiscent of the (infamous) 1991 Halloween blizzard.
posted by autoclavicle at 5:47 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not bad. They could have added a giant tentacle entering through the hole in the ceiling for more suspense.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:47 PM on December 12, 2010 [17 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: At about the 9-10 second mark something is moving really fast along the side line. Maybe someone running?

The editing makes it hard to tell how long before the actual cave-in that was, but there sure was some leakage.
posted by NormieP at 5:47 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aww geez, dontcha know.
posted by punkfloyd at 5:49 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Saw that earlier. Pretty awesome. Of course it seems like they would have had the fore site to save some bucks and just let the thing down.
posted by djduckie at 5:50 PM on December 12, 2010


At about the 9-10 second mark something is moving really fast along the side line. Maybe someone running?

Looks to me like some kind of a little utility truck -- looks like the driver floored it and ran like hell.
posted by Malor at 5:55 PM on December 12, 2010


There might actually be a snow day in Minneapolis schools tomorrow if they can't finish plowing the roads. Which sucks for me, because I'm moving into my new house* and I really don't need the kids underfoot while I'm conducting everyone.

*Originally scheduled for Saturday, delayed due to snowstorm and rescheduled for today, but then one of the crew couldn't get out of his house, so rescheduled for tomorrow! That's how it rolls up here.
posted by padraigin at 5:55 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hoping for a scoop, FoxNews left their cameras running in the snowed-under MetroDome last night.

I don't want to nitpick too much, but I have to point out that this footage isn't from Fox News, but rather Fox Sports.

The Vikings-Giants game that was scheduled for today has been moved to Detroit for tomorrow night, and if you want free tickets you can go to Ford Field tomorrow morning to pick them up - although there will probably be a massive line. The Vikings owners and fans have been clamoring for a new stadium for years now; maybe they'll finally get their wish.
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 5:56 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was pretty awesome. Wish the video wasn't so choppy ... not sure if that's just something with my browser/net though. I'll have to try watching it again when I'm not simultaneously streaming a hockey game.
posted by mannequito at 5:56 PM on December 12, 2010


Someone needs to splice that footage in with this,
posted by griphus at 5:58 PM on December 12, 2010


Good thing it wasn't filled with storm refugees.

Wheee!
posted by Theodore Sign at 5:58 PM on December 12, 2010


ThePinkSuperhero: At about the 9-10 second mark something is moving really fast along the side line. Maybe someone running?

That's what I was thinking, but then I figured, no, couldn't be.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:59 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Too bad Good thing there wasn't a game on, as that would have been pretty fucking awesome a terrible calamity.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:01 PM on December 12, 2010


this is not the first time a collapse of the Dome's roof has happened, of course. A roof of Fiberglass and Teflon supported mostly by air pressure doesn't work very well with tons of snow on top of it.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:02 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


It is very reminiscent of the (infamous) 1991 Halloween blizzard.

I just got off the phone with a friend who took refuge at my apartment in 1991. She wisely decided that driving the extra 10 locks to her house was unwise. We holed up for about 4 hours until the storm took a break and dug her car out. Or started to -- eventually we paid someone to tow it lose, since the snow and a plow visit had completely buried it....

This is about as bad, I gather.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:04 PM on December 12, 2010


I heard 17" and shrugged. It's equivalent to a worse-than-average Nor'Easter in Newport - I always thought Minnesota would be socked with two-foot-plus blizzards on a weekly basis. Might explain why the indoor arenas around here look like bunkers.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:05 PM on December 12, 2010


Wow. Talk about skilled/lucky journalism as well, as far as catching something amazing. (Yep, I'm complimenting Fox on MeFi.)
posted by mnemonic at 6:05 PM on December 12, 2010


I literally just finished digging my driveway out. This was a he'll of a storm. The dome collapse delights me, just because the video is so awesome, but there's a downside- we're already hearing a chorus of "SEE?!? THE VIKINGS NEED A NEW STADIUM! PROOF!!!"

A tennis dome near my house also collapsed, but it just looks pathetic, rather than awesome.
posted by COBRA! at 6:08 PM on December 12, 2010


Good call with the title. I kind of expected the "I've never seen anything like it" line to end "...except for every other late-season game in Green Bay."
posted by mhoye at 6:13 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Saw that earlier. Pretty awesome.

It's okay on the web. But the setup was for a HD, mulitchannel sound feed, and they fed all the mics in as well.

Seeing that footage broadcast -- in 720p, 5.1 sound -- really did make it, as Menefee said, look like a James Cameron production.

This isn't the first time the dome has deflated and dropped -- but it's still a pretty dramatic event.
posted by eriko at 6:15 PM on December 12, 2010


I had a conversation this morning where we figured it was a matter of clearing the snow off and re-inflating it. That's a bit tricky with a big tear in the roof.

It looks just possible that they've plowed the street I can see from my window. It's passable at any rate, as somebody's just parked. I feel very smug right now that I don't own a car.
posted by hoyland at 6:16 PM on December 12, 2010


when mrdoodley and I used to work at a major NBA arena in a midwestern lakefront city, we were forever being sent up on the roof during the winter to pour hot water on it and push the snow and slush off. and shoveling. boy did we ever shovel.

snow. I miss the idea of it.
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:17 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


They should replace the dome with an open stadium; football should be played outdoors. As long as you start drinking heavily in the parking lot for four or five hours before the game, sitting in a blizzard for another three isn't going to bother you.
posted by octothorpe at 6:25 PM on December 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


This is a fantastic example of how a camera in the right place can influence political decisions. Before today, something like 70% of Minnesotans were against building a new stadium. Based on the local news and conversations with previously-anti-stadium friends, I'm willing to bet a poll this week will show 70% in favor. It's illogical -- the stadium roof is cloth and has collapsed four times before, with no injuries -- but the OHMYGODTHEROOFISFALLING reflex doesn't obey logic.
posted by miyabo at 6:32 PM on December 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


At about the 9-10 second mark something is moving really fast along the side line. Maybe someone running?

That would be someone simultaneously testing the top speed of their cart and the structural integrity of their pants.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:37 PM on December 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


As a former midwesterner, dear god, I miss snow. Every other year in the Tokyo area, there will be something like a light dandruffing of snow. In the ten years I've been here, there's been actual accumulation near me twice (both times I rushed out to make snowmen). While I might not want stadium destroying snow, just a couple inches would be nice, and it seems like Minneapolis can spare a little at the moment.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:18 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I stare at the metrodome from my office window most of the day. It's going to be weird tomorrow seeing how much the skyline will have changed.

Also, aren't we supposed to be calling it Mall of America field now? Come on people, think of the branding!
posted by Think_Long at 7:21 PM on December 12, 2010


I've been thinking about this all weekend. It's Minnesota, not known for lack of snow. How was there not a plan for heavy snow on the inflated roof of the MetroDome? Inflated roof....I don't get it.
posted by wv kay in ga at 7:42 PM on December 12, 2010


Surely someone has figured out a way to blame this on Chilly.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:45 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I kept seeing "The roof collapsed at the MetroDome!" on twitter and other places, so I was expecting to see the roof collapse. Like, the whole thing, right down onto the field, with all of the snow on top of it, as if it were a piñata finally busting open, or a bouncy castle hit by a jet engine falling out of the sky.

Bummer.
posted by tzikeh at 7:52 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Monday Night Football in Detroit? Truly an Act of God.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:53 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


aren't we supposed to be calling it Mall of America field now?

I believe the full name is "Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey MetroDome". or something just as lame.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:58 PM on December 12, 2010


Is this kind of collapse a design error or is it a "controlled" failure that was anticipated in the design? You might figure that an inflated roof is a pretty good and cheap solution, even if it's going to tear apart every ten years or snow in a heavy snow - you just go get a new roof.
posted by Mid at 8:00 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]



It's Minnesota, not known for lack of snow. How was there not a plan for heavy snow on the inflated roof of the MetroDome?

Perhaps there were other forces at work.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:16 PM on December 12, 2010 [12 favorites]



Here's a reddit thread with some structural engineers talking about it.

posted by loquacious at 8:22 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


To bad all the domes on all the stadiums can't fall in at the same time. Wake me when that happens.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 8:24 PM on December 12, 2010


It's Minnesota, not known for lack of snow. How was there not a plan for heavy snow on the inflated roof of the MetroDome?

Perhaps there were other forces at work.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:16 PM on December 12 [1 favorite -] Favorite added! [!]


Thank you, louche mustachio (nice name). I failed to consider the other forces.
posted by wv kay in ga at 8:41 PM on December 12, 2010


I've noticed that the coverage never mentions if anyone was hurt.
posted by theora55 at 9:22 PM on December 12, 2010


I'm pretty sure the ESPN story I read this morning said no one was injured.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:33 PM on December 12, 2010


Monday Night Football in Detroit? Truly an Act of God.

The Lions haven't been on Monday Night Football since 2001. Ford Field opened in 2002. So the Lions' stadium will be on TV on a Monday night before they are.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:12 PM on December 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


What is wrong with structural dynamics and/or infrastructure inspection/maintenance in Minnesota? So happy there were no injuries, or deaths, but I can only imagine what could have happened if this occurred during a game.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:48 PM on December 12, 2010


Is this kind of collapse a design error or is it a "controlled" failure that was anticipated in the design? You might figure that an inflated roof is a pretty good and cheap solution, even if it's going to tear apart every ten years or snow in a heavy snow - you just go get a new roof.

They have a plan to clear the snow off of the roof, but with the high winds after the end of the snow fall proper, they felt it wasn't safe for workers up there Saturday night, so they pulled the workers and continued with the pure mechanical things - heating the air holding up the roof and the air in the stadium. They were hoping to better evaluate things in the morning.

Bear in mind that this hasn't happened since 1983.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:30 PM on December 12, 2010


I think this footage really needs to be edited together with Walter Peck getting doused in melted marshmallow in Ghostbusters.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 12:41 AM on December 13, 2010


As someone living in the midwest I would just like to say that damn, it's cold out.
posted by jtron at 2:53 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


"football should be played outdoors."

Yes, I'm pretty sure this was God's judgment on the Vikings for having a roof like some weak-ass team that's afraid of a little frostbite. MAN UP, VIKINGS.

My husband, however, insists it's God's judgment on Favre. What for, exactly, he has yet to decide.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:30 AM on December 13, 2010


I spent six years in Minnesota. I will forever miss Minnesota winters - the colder and snowier, the better.
posted by perilous at 4:33 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can't find it now, but I read somewhere about the downside of this from an NFC East point of view. Instead of playing in the obscenely loud Metrodome, the Giants will be playing in front of a largely non-partisan crowd in Detroit (I imagine it's highly unlikely that many people from the Twin Cities will be driving to Detroit on a normal working day). Suddenly the Giants don't have to worry about being the away team anymore, and in the NFL (especially in domed stadiums) homefield is actually a serious advantage.

Then again, Eagles fans will always have something to complain about.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:23 AM on December 13, 2010


Is there some benefit to having this inflatable roof? Does it allow natural light to pass through it or something?
posted by orme at 5:28 AM on December 13, 2010


That little blur you see in the video. That's ol' gunslinger Brett Favre trying to escape after taking a BB Gun to the roof.
posted by drezdn at 5:46 AM on December 13, 2010



Is there some benefit to having this inflatable roof?


My guess is that it's cheaper than building an actual roof.
posted by drezdn at 5:47 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


As someone living in the midwest deep south I would just like to say that damn, it's cold out.
posted by jfuller at 5:49 AM on December 13, 2010


Okay, so I'm just looking at the skyline now. It isn't just the dome collapsing. The thing has fucking disappeared from my angle. How strange. That dome really tied the place together.
posted by Think_Long at 5:55 AM on December 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


See all those people up-thread waxing rhapsodic about the joys of cold and snow? We have found the aliens amongst us. Light the torches and sharpen the pitchforks.
posted by Splunge at 5:59 AM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I used up the torches thawing the water pipes in the basement :(
posted by jtron at 6:44 AM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


My guess is that it's cheaper than building an actual roof.
posted by drezdn at 8:47 AM on December 13 [+] [!]


My understanding is that it's actually kind of difficult (and expensive) to build a giant dome shaped roof. The roof starts to weigh a lot, and it has to support its own weight. Added to that is that the roof must also be supported without putting giant pillars right through the athletic field. So you might think, "OK, light inflatable roof, not as heavy, held up by air pressure so no need for pillars."

From Pat 6282842 (which is trying to argue that their new improved inflatable roof idea is AWESOME, so, grain of salt):

"The first enclosed stadiums used steel or reinforced concrete domes but such roofs were expensive, heavy and difficult to waterproof. The glazing and trusswork of stadiums, such as the Astrodome, also created problems.

Such problems led to a second generation of air-supported fabric-covered stadium roofs, lightweight and inexpensive structures, capable of covering large spans. Such air domes presented a number of serious problems including high annual costs for heat, electricity and maintenance and excessive crowd noise. The continual positive air pressure necessary to support the roof required that the stadiums have revolving doors, air locks for trucks, reinforced elevator shafts, additional fan rooms, and other expensive and inconvenient items.

Other serious problems stemmed from damage to the roof fabric during construction and deflations of the domed roofs after completion caused by malfunctioning or poorly operated mechanical or snow removal systems. The above-mentioned drawbacks and problems and extensive litigation associated with the air-supported domes discouraged further use of such roof systems for professional sports stadiums so that they are rarely used on new stadiums and are perhaps obsolete.

The demise of air domes led to the third generation of enclosed stadiums that have fabric roofs supported, not by air pressure, but by tension cables held taut either by large masts or arches, or by smaller compression struts and a compression ring ... the advantages of the cable domes over the previous air-supported domes were many. The cable domes are more easily insulated. They also can take greater snow loads and demand less exacting maintenance. Their higher cost remain a major drawback, but the elimination of the equipment and details required for pressurization make them superior to the previous air-supported domes.

The annual costs associated with operation and maintenance of a conventional air dome, such as Pontiac's Silverdome, are enormous and usually substantially greater than one million dollars because of the large volumes of air involved, the difficulty in heating and cooling the structure, and the general inefficiency of the system ..."

posted by Comrade_robot at 7:06 AM on December 13, 2010


What does this have to do with Brett Favre? Well, he was still doubtful to start the game against the Giants yesterday, threatening to break a consecutive game streak that's been running since September 27, 1992. Whether the 28 hour delay is long enough for him to recover remains to be seen - it's still being described as "a game-time decision" - but it would be an interesting twist. Frankly, if retirement couldn't stop him, I don't see what possibly could :\

Otherwise, this footage - and the fact that they were reluctant to call off the game until the roof collapsed - really puts into perspective the weather that brought the UK to a standstill for the last two weeks.
posted by kxr at 7:18 AM on December 13, 2010


...but what does this have to do with Brett Favre?

All that hot air to keep the thing inflated had to come from somewhere.
posted by briank at 7:21 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aerial photo of the dome before and after the collapse. My wife can see the dome from her workplace. Well, she can see the outside of the building anyway, the dome is basically inverted now.

Also, being between the rain shadow of the Rockies and before the could-recharging water of the Great Lakes, Minnesota isn't really in the heavy snow region. It gets really damn cold here, but big snowfalls like this are very rare (this last storm rated in the top 5 to ever hit the Twin Cities). Someplace like western Michigan, or Buffalo, will get more snow thanks to the lake effect. When it hits here, it stays. But it doesn't hit this hard that often.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:10 AM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


*zing!*
posted by Think_Long at 9:11 AM on December 13, 2010


1- Check out the second wave of the collapse where there is a better close up of the hole being created. The snow tears the hole, and pours in, and then the air pressure pushes some of the snow back out. Really cool looking.

2- The storm began with a crap-ton of rain. So the initial layer on top of the roof was slush or frozen slush. A lot heavier. You can see that before the roof falls, it is leaking water. So it wasn't just snow, but a foot of nearly-water.

3- God, can you imagine how much the pressure change hurt anyone's ears inside the building?

They should replace the dome with an open stadium; football should be played outdoors. As long as you start drinking heavily in the parking lot for four or five hours before the game, sitting in a blizzard for another three isn't going to bother you.

I agree, as long as I'm not the guy who has to be out there playing. That was one hell of a Bears game.
posted by gjc at 9:23 AM on December 13, 2010


That before and after picture is great, thanks! Now what I want is a time-lapse of the inflation process once they get it patched...
And just where does one get a patch-kit for a dome?
posted by joecacti at 9:37 AM on December 13, 2010


The storm began with a crap-ton of rain.

? Not that I noticed. I think SE Minnesota got a lot, but the cities were mostly just dry powder.
posted by Think_Long at 9:54 AM on December 13, 2010


The water is from workers trying to melt the snow off the roof with heat and a salt solutiton.
posted by Think_Long at 9:54 AM on December 13, 2010


The team imploded so the dome figured it might as well join in the fun.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 3:18 PM on December 13, 2010


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