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A Vikings stadium needs a roof on it

The state of Minnesota and the Vikings have a decision to make in 2011 -- deciding the future of a professional football stadium in Minnesota, which, in turn, will decide the future of the Vikings, the state's professional football stadium.

As the Vikings and state leaders have learned over the past decade, making this decision will not be easy. Moreover, it is not likely going to get any easier.

The Metropolitan Sports Commission announced Thursday that the repair of the collapsed Metrodome roof would likely take about six months. In addition, some Viking preseason games may have to be played elsewhere.

There is no doubt the Metrodome is showing its age. Granted, when the dome was built three decades ago, it was considered a state-of-the-art facility. That is no longer true today -- as the roof collapse proves.

One benefit of the roof collapse is that the stadium issue has increased the sense of reality and urgency.

The Vikings also need to look in the reality mirror a little bit. The team recently announced they were willing to pay onethird of the estimated $750 million cost of any new outdoor, roofless stadium.

In other words, Minnesota would have to find a way to fund its $500 million share for the eight days a year when the Vikings play and profit. That is a poor investment.

While the cost of a roofed stadium costs is higher than a roofless stadium, so is usage for all types of users. In the past, the Metrodome has been used more than 300 days per year, utilized for roller-skating, birthday parties, high school games, college games, tractor pulls, concerts and more.

That is a multi-use stadium.

This state wants and needs the Vikings to remain in Minnesota. The Vikings want and need a new stadium to remain here.

We believe a retractable-roof stadium designed for football and suitable for multiple-use purposes is the best solution for Minnesota and its citizens. -- West Central Tribune of Willmar