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They would be wrong. And it would be a virtual certainty that they have never visited the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which, from a fan’s perspective, is about the least hospitable venue in all of sports. Not only is it wretchedly ugly — from the air-conditioning-supported teflon roof to the exposed concrete columns to the stained turf; not only is it thoroughly devoid even of the slightest hint of charm; it’s also highly uncomfortable. The tiny concourses, in particular, are a nightmare, making Times Square at rush hour seem like a stroll through an empty meadow.
Maybe the worst part is the revolving doors to get in and out of the building. Because the monstrous roof is supported by the air inside the dome, it is imperative the air not escape. So fans enter and exit through doors that prevent too much leakage. The pressure is so enormous that many fans are physically unable to push the doors hard enough to move them. Old people routinely get stuck. Often one sees several people getting together to lay their shoulders into getting a door spinning.
And when it does, a revolving door becomes something of a wind turbine, literally shooting fans out of the building with a blast of air.
Everything about the Metrodome is unsatisfying, from its namesake on down. And when that glorious day comes when it is no longer needed, even that moment will be unsatisfying. Seattle’s Kingdome or Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium or any of the other execrable concrete and steel eyesores that have been replaced by beautiful baseball palaces at least all could be spectacularly disassembled. The Kingdome was dynamited live on national television. But the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome will die with a piffle, like the air being let out of a basketball.
Which is somehow appropriate, because it’s been taking the air out of sports in Minneapolis for two decades and counting.