Big news broke here in Minneapolis yesterday. The Associated Press reported that the Minnesota State Legislature voted to approve the building of a new stadium for the Vikings in order to keep them from leaving, and to replace the battered Metrodome, which was voted worst stadium in football by Yahoo! readers last year. The stadium isn’t just known for being uncomfortable and unpleasant: the roof actually caved in two years ago, forcing the Vikings to host an important play-off game at the University of Minnesota campus.
I wrote a bit about the stadium last month, as the deal to pay for the new stadium was still being worked out. As it is, according to Field of Schemes, the $975 million stadium will cost the state $348 million and the city of Minneapolis will pay $150 million in cash and $189 million in operating costs over the next 30 years. So whether you like it or not, Minnesotans and Minneapolitans, you will own a piece of the new Vikings Stadium.
But what if you want a little more for your money than just a bigger tax bill and the knowledge that you’re locked into this thing until you move away? One enterprising Minnesota-native, Guy Nelson, has started up his own business selling one of the more unique sports collectibles around: actual pieces of the Metrodome’s collapsed roof.
The site has an extensive product page that features different bits and pieces of the roof, which Nelson managed to salvage from the collapse before it went into a landfill. The most basic versions of the roof are an 8×10 inch piece for $20, or a 3×4 inch piece for $10. But I think my favorite offering is the Minnesota-shaped piece that’s been printed with an image of the Metrodome itself, which has been limited to 10,000 pieces. It only costs $22.00, and there’s no denying it’d be a great conversation-starter.
Pieces of the dome also serve as canvases for some collectibles, like the 191 signed portraits of 1991 World Series winning pitcher for the Twins, Jack Morris, which have been airbrushed onto a rectangle of roof and framed for your convenience. These pieces are some of the pricier pieces on the site, coming in at $440. But still, you won’t find anything like this anywhere else.
As Minneapolis prepares to get rid of the Metrodome forever, Nelson’s site offers residents the chance to hold onto a piece of their state’s sports history in a way that no other state can claim…whether that sports history is something to be proud of, though, is up for debate. At the end of the day, though, you’ve got to respect Nelson for his creative and one-of-a-kind product.
Take that, Green Bay!