The Metrodome Belonged to a Generation

The baby boomer columnists for the hometown papers published their Metrodome obituaries Sunday. They were eloquent and historically accurate, but when it comes to the Dome, they don’t really understand.

The boomers always hated the place, it was a complete 180 from what they grew up with and they never moved beyond it‘s obvious flaws. For the millennials, it’s a footnote before Target Field and whatever corporate name the new Vikings stadium gets. The Metrodome belonged to Generation X, my generation.

For us, there were no romanticized summer evenings at the Met, no frolicking in the snow with the Purple People Eaters. Target Field meanwhile, is a place we bring our kids. We enjoy the new, state-of-the-art facilities, but our most cherished sports memories will always be under Teflon.

The building had many quirks that could amuse and aggravate - the trough in the men’s bathroom, the blue plastic seats, the impossible to navigate concourses and recently, the ridiculously inefficient security procedures before Vikings games, but there was one thing that always made me smile - the forced air exit.

My family moved to the Twin Cities in October 1985, I went to my first Twins game in ’86 and Vikings game in ’88, saw Kirby win Game 6 in ‘91, Scott Erickson no-hit Milwaukee in ‘94, Randy Moss explode and Gary Anderson miss in ‘98, CC catch No. 1,000 in 2000, Jason Kubel’s grand slam launch the Twins toward a division title in ’06, a rookie running back go for 296 in ‘07, Game 163 and Favre to Lewis in ‘09 and AP 2K MVP last year.

I’ve been a Vikings season ticket holder with my brother since 1997, introduced baseball to my future wife in 1999, worked in the Twins Ticket Office from 2001-03, was fortunate to get press credentials many times this millennium and interview dozens of Twins players. Since 2004, I’ve taken the light rail from South Minneapolis past the iconic hump to work downtown almost everyday. The Dome has been a constant in my life.

As much as our generation sometimes hates to admit it, we’re adults now - middle aged even. The demise of the Metrodome is another reminder of our fading youth. As a rush of pressurized air pushed me out of the Dome for the last time Sunday afternoon, all I could think about was the piece of myself I left inside.

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