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NFL Minnesota Vikings

Vikings Stadium: Retractable Roof Not Guaranteed

With all the voting finally behind them, the Minnesota Vikings can finally start the actual planning for their new stadium.

It’s been a long time coming for a new stadium in Minnesota, so the team needs to get this right. Arguably the biggest piece of the new stadium that needs addressed, is the roof.

The new stadium must have a retractable roof. I thought it went without saying one would be included with the Vikings stadium, but apparently that’s not the case.

When asked about a retractable roof, owner Zygi Wilf said he wasn’t sure yet.

His brother also made few comments:

“We’re going to try to get the maximum number of features within the budgets that we can make this a facility that is going to be exciting to the fans,” Mark Wilf said Friday. “We know it’s a competitive landscape to attract our fans to the facility, and we’re going to want to make it something special. To the extent that (a retractable roof) can get there, we’re going to try to do it.”

“Public spaces to us seem a very exciting place to gather,” Wilf said. “Whether it’s the plaza outside, you hear about the Lucas Oil Stadium, the way they have the large areas where people can gather, wide concourses, clubs. We want to really enhance the ability for people to come together.”

Obviously a retractable roof is more expensive, and that money will have to be paid by the Vikings (the Wilfs). The early estimates have it costing anywhere from $25-$100 million dollars.

Even though they will have to pay more up front, in the end, they will make so much more money. It’s being speculated that if a roof, of any type, is installed, that a MLS soccer franchise could find a home in Minnesota as well.

From the artist sketches of the new stadium, it does look similar to Lucas Oil Stadium, something I’m completely fine with. As long as it has all the latest and greatest gadgets and features, I’m going to be okay with it.

The Vikings have a great opportunity to turn their new home, into one of the best fan experiences in the NFL. They’ve been playing inside a dome for the last 30 seasons, it’s time for a change. Sure, they could go in a completely opposite direction and build an open stadium, but it’s just not the right call for business.

The Vikings need to get with the times, and commit to a retractable roof, which will get them the best of both worlds.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish