Metropolitan Stadium

Metropolitan Stadium (often referred to as "the Met", "Met Stadium", or now "the Old Met" to distinguish from the Metrodome) was a sports stadium that once stood in Bloomington, Minnesota, just outside Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Millers minor league baseball team played at Met Stadium from 1956 to 1960. The Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings then played at the "Met" from 1961 to 1981. The North American Soccer League soccer team Minnesota Kicks also played there from 1976 to 1981.

The area where the stadium once stood is now the site of the Mall of America.

Metropolitan Stadium
The Met
"Met Stadium"
"Old Met"
Metropolitan Stadium 1962.jpeg
Metropolitan Stadium in 1962
Location8000 Cedar Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota
Coordinates44°51′16″N 93°14′31″W / 44.85444°N 93.24194°WCoordinates: 44°51′16″N 93°14′31″W / 44.85444°N 93.24194°W
OwnerCity of Minneapolis (1956–1977)
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (1977–1981)
CapacityBaseball: 18,200 (1956)
21,000 (1957–1959)
30,022 (1960–1961)
39,525 (1962)
40,073 (1963–1964)
45,182 (1965–1969)
45,914 (1970–1972)
45,921 (1973–1974)
45,919 (1975–1981)
Football: 41,200 (1961–1964)
47,900 (1965–1970)
49,784 (1971–1973)
47,900 (1974–1976)
48,446 (1977–1981)
Field sizeLeft Field: 343 ft (105 m)
Left-Center: 365 ft (111 m)
Center Field: 402 ft (123 m)
Right-Center: 370 ft (110 m)
Right Field: 330 ft (100 m)
Backstop: 60 ft (18 m)
Wall: 8 feet (2.4 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundJune 20, 1955[1]
OpenedApril 24, 1956
ClosedDecember 20, 1981
DemolishedJanuary 28, 1985
Construction costUS$8.5 million[2]
($78.3 million in 2018 dollars[3])
ArchitectOsborn Architects & Engineers[1]
Thorshov and Cerny[4]
Structural engineerTepper Engineering
General contractorJohnson, Drake & Piper/Kimmes/Axel Ohman[1]
Tenants
Minneapolis Millers (AA) (1956–1960)
Minnesota Twins (MLB) (1961–1981)
Minnesota Vikings (NFL) (1961–1981)
Minnesota Kicks (NASL) (1976–1981)

History

Origins and construction

Beginning in 1953, inspired by the Boston Braves' move to Milwaukee, Gerald Moore, the president of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, led the drive to lure a Major League team to Minnesota by constructing a modern stadium built to Major League specifications. After the rejection of numerous sites, a stadium committee appointed by Moore approved a 160-acre (0.65 km2) plot of farmland in Bloomington.[5] The stadium would replace Nicollet Park as the home of the American Association's Minneapolis Millers. The site was approximately equidistant from the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and it was believed this would be the best location for a prospective Major League team.[6]

After a plan by architects Thorshov & Cerny won approval, groundbreaking was scheduled to begin on June 20, 1955.[5] The construction was almost delayed, however, when the owners of the property on which the stadium would be built on began a protest, claiming they had not yet been paid. One of these owners created a barricade of farm equipment along his property line that ran directly through where the stadium's infield would be. The dispute was settled in time for the groundbreaking to move forward as planned.[7] Many spectators and dignitaries attended the groundbreaking, including Minneapolis mayor Eric G. Hoyer and several members of the Minneapolis Millers.[7]

On February 7, 1956, an accident occurred on the construction site when a portable heater used to cure concrete exploded in the stadium's basement. After $50,000 of repairs and a three-week delay in construction, Metropolitan Stadium opened in time to hold its first game, a minor league contest between the Millers and the Wichita Braves on April 24 of that year.[5] (At the time of its opening, the stadium still lacked an official name; the park was not named until a July announcement declaring it "Metropolitan Stadium".)[8]

In the 1950s, major league owners Calvin Griffith and Horace Stoneham called the stadium the finest facility in the minors; Stoneham added that "there were not two better" major league stadiums of the time (although not specifying which specific two he thought were the Met's equal)[6] The Millers were then the top farm team of Stoneham's New York Giants, and there was some hope or expectation that the Giants might relocate there.[7] Under major league rules of the time, the Giants owned the major league rights to the Minneapolis area. Negotiations were also held with Griffith's Washington Senators, as well as the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, and Philadelphia Athletics.[9] However, the Giants chose to follow the Brooklyn Dodgers to the west coast at the urging of Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, who owned the Millers' crosstown rivals, the St. Paul Saints. San Francisco had long been home to the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals, the top farm team of the Boston Red Sox. As part of the deal, the Millers' parent team then became the Red Sox, who had no plans to move anywhere in the foreseeable future.

Multiple exhibition games featuring Major League teams were held at the Met at this time; a game between the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds was held at the Met in 1957, and a matchup between the Senators and the Philadelphia Phillies was held shortly after the 1958 All-Star break. The latter game brought 15,990 fans to the stadium, including Calvin Griffith, who described the stadium as "terrific."[10][11]

Baseball and football

Metropolitan Stadium 1963
Batting practice before a 1963 game at Metropolitan Stadium.

In October 1960, Calvin Griffith announced that his Washington Senators would move to Metropolitan Stadium and later became the Minnesota Twins. The Twins played their first home game on April 21, 1961 with a loss to the new Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers).[1] The Millers and their perennial crosstown rival St. Paul Saints were then promptly folded by Major League Baseball. To ready the stadium for the Twins, a $9 million renovation increased the seating capacity from about 22,000 to over 30,000 by the completion of the Twins' inaugural season.[11] During the Twins' first 10 seasons at the Met, they outdrew the average American League team each year.[9]

The National Football League (NFL) was also interested in placing a team at the Met. Conversations were had with Violet Bidwill Wolfner, owner of the Chicago Cardinals, about moving her team to the stadium.[9] The Cardinals moved two of their regular season home games against the Philadelphia Eagles (October 25) (att: 20,112)[12] and New York Giants (November 22) (att: 26,625)[13] to Bloomington for the 1959 NFL season.[14] A preseason football game was held each year at the Met from 1956 to 1960.

Finally, the Met got a football team when the American Football League announced Minneapolis- St. Paul as one of its charter cities for the 1960 AFL season. However, the NFL persuaded the team's owners to pull out of the AFL in January 1960 and join the NFL as an expansion team in 1961. The NFL team was later named the Minnesota Vikings. As it turned out, the year's delay worked to the Vikings' benefit, as by then the Twins had moved in and the Met had been expanded to befit its status as a big-league stadium. (The Chicago Cardinals, after playing two games in Bloomington in 1959, announced in March 1960 that they were moving to St. Louis.)[15]

Metropolitan Stadium 1965
A Twins game at the Met, July 30, 1964.

The park had a skeletal feel, and it was obvious that it had once been a minor league baseball stadium. For instance, fans in the bleachers literally had to leave the stadium to get to the grandstand. When the bleachers were built to ready the stadium for the Twins, no concourse was ever built to connect them to the rest of the stadium.[16] Unlike most multipurpose stadiums built during this time, there were very few bad seats for baseball. The stadium was built using cantilever construction for the overhanging decks, eliminating posts that blocked the fans' view.[7] It was well known as a hitter's park; its short foul lines—343 to left, 330 to right—were particularly friendly to pull hitters such as Harmon Killebrew. The 330-foot (100 m) marker in right was actually closer to right-center, leading to speculation that right field was even closer.[6][17] Since the Met was built in 1956, however, this would not have been a problem for the Twins; baseball required all parks built after 1958 to have foul lines of at least 325 feet (99 m).[18] Met Stadium distance signs included meters 1974-77.

The Met was often considered a substandard venue for football. The gridiron ran from around third base to right field, with barely enough room to fit the playing field and end zones. Wooden bleachers were brought onto the field during football season to bring fans closer to the game.[7] For 1965, a large double-decked grandstand was installed in left field to replace the temporary wooden bleachers. The Vikings actually paid for this new grandstand in return for reduced rent;[10] this location was prime sideline seating in the football configuration. This left the Met with the unique configuration of a double deck in left field, and bleachers behind third base. The left-field grandstand was originally planned to be capable of sliding toward or away from the gridiron (as Denver's Mile High Stadium later would be), but that part of the project was never realized.

The Met provided an overwhelming home-field advantage for the Vikings late in the season and in the playoffs due to Minnesota's famously cold temperatures.[19][20] The Vikings played 10 playoff games at the Met and lost only three of them.

In 1965, both the Major League All-Star Game and the World Series were played at Metropolitan Stadium, one of the few times that coincidence has happened since the former event was inaugurated in 1933. (Game 7 of that year's World Series drew 50,596 fans to the Met, the only time a baseball crowd exceeded 50,000 and the biggest-ever attendance for baseball at the stadium.)[8] The Vikings hosted the 1969 NFL Championship Game at the stadium.[21]

Soccer and other events

The Beatles at Metropolitan Stadium
Beatles Metropolitan Stadium ticket 1965
The Beatles at Metropolitan Stadium, August 1965; the ticket was $4.16 plus tax.

Metropolitan Stadium was the home of the Minnesota Kicks soccer team from 1976 until the team folded in November 1981. The Kicks, members of the North American Soccer League, were highly anticipated in Minnesota and had to delay their first game at the Met by 15 minutes to accommodate the large crowd waiting to buy tickets.[22] To help speed things along, the Kicks' owners let two thousand fans enter the stadium for free.[22] An NASL attendance record was set one month later, when Pelé and the New York Cosmos drew 46,164 fans to Metropolitan Stadium.[7][22] Large crowds continued for the Kicks, who drew 41,505 for that year's opening playoff game. Four days later, another record was set when 49,571 fans came to see the Kicks defeat San Jose, 3-1.[7] The team enjoyed great success in their first four seasons in Minnesota, winning a division title each year.[7] Attendance dipped toward the end of the franchise's history, however, with an average of 16,605 per game in 1981, their final season.[23] The size of the field for soccer games was 100 by 72 yards 1976–78 and 104 by 72 yards 1979–81.

Concerts

The Met also hosted multiple concerts.

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 21, 1965 The Beatles King Curtis
Cannibal and the Headhunters
Brenda Holloway
Sounds Incorporated
1965 North American Tour 25,000 $104,000 "Twist and Shout" was not played due to problems with John Lennon's voice[24]
August 1, 1978 Eagles Steve Miller Band
Pablo Cruise
1978 Tour 65,000 [7][25]
June 24, 1979 The Allman Brothers Band Enlightened Rogues Tour [26]

Wrestling

Numerous wrestling matches were held at Metropolitan Stadium, including contests featuring Hard Boiled Haggerty, Bob Geigel, Wilbur Snyder, Kay Noble, Lord Littlebrook, Verne Gagne, Gene Kiniski, Rene Goulet, Larry Hennig, Hans Schmidt, Mad Dog Vachon and Dick the Bruiser.[27]

Final years and demise

The Met's fate was essentially sealed when, as part of the AFL-NFL Merger, the NFL declared that stadiums smaller than 50,000 were inadequate for its needs; at its height the Met only seated 48,700 for football. However, the Vikings would not even consider playing at the University of Minnesota's Memorial Stadium, and demanded a brand-new stadium as a condition of staying in town. At one point, the city of Bloomington had plans to place a dome over Metropolitan Stadium, or build a new football stadium located between the Met and the Met Center, which had opened in 1967 just north of the Met.[28] Since football-only stadiums were not seen as viable at the time, the Twins decided not to renew their lease at the Met after the 1981 season. This accelerated the push for construction of a new stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which was completed in 1982.

Metropolitan Stadium 1981
A Twins game in 1981.

However, it is very likely that a new stadium would have been needed in any event, as the Met was not well maintained. By the park's final season, railings in the grandstand's third deck had become a major safety hazard.[17] Additionally, players had begun to complain about the quality of the field; the infield in particular was considered the worst in the majors.[29] Rumors abounded that the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which by then had taken over the stadium from the city of Minneapolis, had deliberately let the Met go to seed in order to aid the push for the Metrodome.[16]

The Minnesota Kicks' last regular season game at Met Stadium was a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Tornado on August 19, 1981. The team's last game at the Met was a 1-0 shoot out play off victory against the Tulsa Roughnecks on August 26, 1981. The team's last game played was a home playoff loss 3-0 to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on September 6, 1981. The game was moved to the University of Minnesota's Memorial Stadium due to a scheduling conflict with the Twins.

Metropolitan Stadium Abandoned
An abandoned Metropolitan Stadium, circa 1984.

The Twins played their last game at the Met on September 30, 1981, losing to the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on a rainy afternoon.[10] The night before the final game, home plate was stolen, and after the final game ended, hundreds of fans gathered on the field, searching (mostly unsuccessfully) for mementoes.[22]

The Vikings played their last game on December 20, 1981, dropping a 10-6 decision to the Kansas City Chiefs.[30] Fans, sensing that this was the final game of any sort at the stadium, were more determined to claim souvenirs. In preparation, the Vikings tripled their security force for the contest.[22] In the game's final minutes, many of the 41,110 fans in attendance began dismantling seats and bleachers, and thousands stormed the field once the game ended.[22] The goal posts were torn down, pieces of sod from the field were dug up, and speakers and lightbulbs on the scoreboard were removed.[22] Hundreds of injuries were reported, mostly minor scrapes and bruises but also multiple head injuries sustained during the melee.[31]

Met Stadium was officially abandoned when the Vikings and the Twins moved to the Metrodome in January 1982 and the Kicks folded after the 1981 soccer season. For the next 3 years, Met Stadium sat unused, decaying and highly vandalized. Demolition kickoff for Metropolitan Stadium started on January 28, 1985 and continued for the next 4 months. After the rubble was cleared, the lot sat vacant for several years, although the nearby Met Center continued to provide entertainment for hockey fans.

After the Met

MOA Killebrew chair1
The red chair overlooking the flume ride at Nickelodeon Universe
Metstadium-homeplate
Home plate at Nickelodeon Universe

The Mall of America, which opened in 1992, stands on the site of what is now nostalgically called "the Old Met." A brass plaque in the shape of home plate, embedded in the floor in the northwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe, commemorates the site's days as a sports venue by marking where home plate once sat. Near the opposite corner, mounted high on the wall, is a red stadium chair denoting the precise landing spot (including elevation) of Harmon Killebrew's 520-foot (160 m) home run, a blast to the upper deck in deep left-center field on June 3, 1967. This was the longest homer Killebrew ever hit, and the longest ever hit in Metropolitan Stadium.[7][32] Unlike the chair at the Mall, the Met's outfield seating featured green bleacher-style benches.

For a time, there was talk of building a new park for the Twins on the old Met site that would be connected to the Mall of America. However, the terms of the agreement in which the land was sold to Triple Five Group, owners of the Mall of America, do not allow another stadium to be built on the site. Even without this to consider, the site is now directly in a flight path for Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport.[16]

The old flagpole at the stadium was purchased by the Minneapolis/Richfield American Legion Post when the stadium was razed. The pole was sold back to the Twins and restored in 2010; it was then placed in the plaza at Target Field.[25]

Photo gallery: abandonment

A series of photographs taken in the mid-1980s during Metropolitan Stadium's abandonment.

Metropolitan Stadium abandoned-2
Metropolitan Stadium abandoned-3
Metropolitan Stadium abandoned-4
Metropolitan Stadium abandoned-5
Metropolitan Stadium abandoned-6

References

  1. ^ a b c "Former Minnesota ballparks". ballparktour.com.
  2. ^ "Metropolitan Stadium". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Metropolitan Stadium". Project Ballpark. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c El-Hai, Jack (2000). Lost Minnesota: stories of vanished places. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-3515-3.
  6. ^ a b c Smith, Curt (2001). Storied Stadiums. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1187-6.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Thornley, Stew (2006). Baseball in Minnesota: the definitive history. Minneapolis: Minnesota Historical Society. ISBN 0-87351-551-X.
  8. ^ a b "Metropolitan Stadium (Bloomington, MN)". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c Noll, Roger G.; Zimbalist, Andrew S. (1997). Sports, jobs, and taxes: the economic impact of sports teams and stadiums. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-6111-2.
  10. ^ a b c "Metropolitan Stadium". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Brackin, Dennis; Reusse, Patrick; Killebrew, Harmon (2010). Minnesota Twins: The Complete Illustrated History. MVP Books. ISBN 0-7603-3684-9.
  12. ^ "Chicago Tribune - Historical Newspapers". chicagotribune.com.
  13. ^ "Chicago Tribune - Historical Newspapers". chicagotribune.com.
  14. ^ Snyder, John (2010). Twins Journal: Year by Year and Day by Day with the Minnesota Twins Since 1961. Clerisy Press. ISBN 1-57860-380-3.
  15. ^ "Chicago Tribune - Historical Newspapers". chicagotribune.com.
  16. ^ a b c Metropolitan Stadium at Ballpark Digest
  17. ^ a b Lowry, Phillip (2005). Green Cathedrals. New York City: Walker & Company. ISBN 0-8027-1562-1.
  18. ^ "Official Rules". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  19. ^ "The Long, Cold and Sordid History of the Minnesota Vikings". Sports Illustrated. December 1, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2010.
  20. ^ "Notebook: Home-field advantage? Cold hasn't helped Vikings recently". KSTP. St. Paul. December 17, 2010. Archived from the original on November 19, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  21. ^ "Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings – January 4th, 1970". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Rippel, Joel A. (2003). Seventy-Five Memorable Moments in Minnesota Sports. Minneapolis: Minnesota Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87351-475-0.
  23. ^ "Minnesota Kicks – The story of Professional Soccer in Minnesota". Minnesota Thunder. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  24. ^ "August 21, 1965: Live: Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis". Beatles Bible. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  25. ^ a b "That New Twins Ballpark Flagpole Will Look Familiar". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. October 3, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  26. ^ "Allman Brothers Band: Bloomington, Minnesota". Allman Brothers Band. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  27. ^ "AWA Stadium Shows". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  28. ^ Weiner, Jay (2000). Stadium Games: Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-3435-1.
  29. ^ "HISTORY OF THE METRODOME ON COOL OF THE EVENING: THE 1965 MINNESOTA TWINS". www.cooloftheevening.com. line feed character in |title= at position 68 (help)
  30. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at Minnesota Vikings – December 20th, 1981". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  31. ^ "Viking Fans Tear Apart Metropolitan Stadium". Oxnard Press-Courier. December 21, 1981. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  32. ^ "Harmon Killebrew Was a Treasure". ESPN. May 17, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011.

External links

1961 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1961 season was the Minnesota Vikings' first in the National Football League after being created as an expansion franchise. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with a 3–11 record. The team's first ever regular season game was a 37–13 victory against their divisional rivals, the Chicago Bears; in that game, rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton came off the bench to toss four touchdown passes and run for another.

The Vikings' defense surrendered 5.41 rushing yards per attempt in 1961, the fifth-most of all time.

1962 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1962 season was the Minnesota Vikings' second in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with a 2–11–1 record that still stands as the franchise's worst season record in terms of winning percentage, both by today's standards (.179) and at the time (.154), when ties weren't counted as games played. The Vikings have won at least three games in every season since.

1964 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1964 season was the Minnesota Vikings' fourth in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the team finished with an 8–5–1 record, the most wins they had accrued in a season since joining the league. To date, this is the only season the Vikings wore white jerseys for their home games.

1965 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1965 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 36th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 13, 1965, at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota. The game resulted in a 6–5 victory for the NL.

1965 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1965 season was the Minnesota Vikings' fifth in the National Football League. Under head coach Norm van Brocklin, the team finished with a 7–7 record.

1966 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1966 season was the Minnesota Vikings' sixth in the National Football League. Sixth-year head coach Norm Van Brocklin resigned at the end of the season, after the team finished with a 4–9–1 record.

1967 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1967 season was the Minnesota Vikings' seventh in the National Football League. After the resignation of head coach Norm Van Brocklin at the end of the previous season, the Vikings hired Bud Grant, previously the head coach of the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who led the team to a 3–8–3 record.

1969 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1969 season was the Minnesota Vikings' ninth season in the National Football League. With a 12–2 record, the Vikings won the NFL Central division title, before beating the Los Angeles Rams in the Western Conference Championship Game, and the Cleveland Browns in the last NFL Championship Game ever played in the pre-merger era. With these wins, the Vikings became the last team to possess the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy, introduced 35 years earlier in 1934.

However, Minnesota lost Super Bowl IV in New Orleans to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in the final professional football game between the two leagues. It was the second consecutive Super Bowl win for the younger league.

The Vikings won the last NFL Championship prior to the league's merger with the American Football League. The season was chronicled for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.

1969 NFL Championship Game

The 1969 NFL Championship Game was the 37th and final championship game prior to the AFL–NFL merger, played January 4, 1970, at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb south of Minneapolis. The winner of the game earned a berth in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans against the champion of the American Football League.The Minnesota Vikings of the Western Conference hosted the Cleveland Browns of the Eastern Conference. It was the Vikings' first appearance in the title game, while the Browns were making their second straight appearance and fourth of the 1960s.

Minnesota had a regular season record of 12–2, including a 51–3 defeat of the Browns eight weeks earlier on November 9. The Vikings defeated the Los Angeles Rams 23–20 in the Western Conference championship a week earlier at Met Stadium. They were coached by Bud Grant and led on offense by quarterback Joe Kapp and wide receiver Gene Washington. The defense allowed only 133 points (9½ per game) during the regular season and their four defensive linemen were known as the "Purple People Eaters."

Cleveland was 10–3–1 during the regular season and had upset the Dallas Cowboys 38–14 at the Cotton Bowl for the Eastern Conference title. The Browns were coached by Blanton Collier; Bill Nelsen was the starting quarterback and Gary Collins and Paul Warfield were star wide receivers for the team.

Although not as severe as the "Ice Bowl" of 1967, the weather conditions were bitterly cold at 8 °F (−13 °C), with a sub-zero wind chill factor. Cleveland linebacker Jim Houston suffered frostbite during the game and was hospitalized.

Minnesota was favored by nine points to win the title game at home, and they won, 27–7.Of the four NFL teams that joined the league during the AFL era (1960s), Minnesota was the sole winner of a pre-merger NFL championship. The Dallas Cowboys entered the league in 1960 and lost two NFL title games to the Green Bay Packers, in 1966 and 1967. The expansion Atlanta Falcons (1966) and New Orleans Saints (1967) did not qualify for the postseason until 1978 and 1987, respectively.

The Vikings would go on to lose Super Bowl IV 23-7 to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs. Starting with the 1970 season, the NFL champion was determined in the Super Bowl, beginning with Super Bowl V.

1970 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1970 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 10th in the National Football League and the first season following the AFL–NFL merger. Under head coach Bud Grant, they finished with a 12–2 record and won the first ever NFC Central title before losing to the San Francisco 49ers at home in the NFC Divisional Playoff game. The Vikings' defense became the second defense in the history of the NFL to lead the league in fewest points allowed and fewest total yards allowed for two consecutive seasons.

1971 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1971 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 11th season in the National Football League. The Vikings won the NFC Central title as they finished with a record of 11 wins and three losses, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys at home, 20–12, in the NFC Divisional Playoff game.

In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1971 Vikings as the fourth-greatest defense in NFL history, saying, "[c]onsidering that their motto was 'Meet at the quarterback,' it's no surprise that the Purple People Eaters held opposing QBs to a 40.4 rating, one of the lowest ever." ESPN also noted that the 1971 Vikings "shut out three opponents, and only one team scored more than 20 points against them. As a result, Alan Page became the first defensive player to ever be named NFL MVP. Carl Eller, Jim Marshall and safety Paul Krause joined Page on the All-Pro team."

1973 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1973 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 13th in the National Football League. With a 12–2 record, the Vikings regained the NFC Central title after having gone 7–7 the previous year. They started the season 9–0 and looked a threat to the previous year's Dolphins' record of a perfect season before losing to the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals in their next three games. Their narrow 10–9 win over the Los Angeles Rams constituted the last time until 1997 that the last two unbeaten NFL teams played each other.The Vikings defeated the Washington Redskins 27–20 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at home and went on to upset the Dallas Cowboys 27–10 in Irving, Texas to win the NFC Championship, before losing 24–7 to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium in Houston.

1974 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1974 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 14th season in the National Football League. The Vikings won the NFC Central as they finished with a record of 10 wins and 4 losses. The Vikings defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 30–14 in the NFC divisional playoff game, and the Los Angeles Rams, 14–10 to win their second consecutive NFC championship. Both games were at home. The Vikings lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl IX, 16–6 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, becoming the first team to lose consecutive Super Bowls.

1976 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1976 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 16th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with an 11–2–1 record to give them their eighth NFC Central division title. They beat the Washington Redskins 35–20 in the divisional round of the playoffs, followed by a 24–13 win over the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship, before losing 32–14 to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XI. As of 2018, this was the last Super Bowl appearance by the franchise.

1980 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1980 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 20th year in the National Football League's 61st season. The Vikings finished with a record of nine wins and seven losses. The Vikings won the NFC Central division, winning the tiebreaker with Detroit, who also had a 9–7 record.

The most dramatic game of the season came in a Week 15 home game against Cleveland, with Minnesota at 8–6. The Vikings came back from a fourteen-point deficit to come within 23–22, with only 0:05 left on the clock from Cleveland's 46-yard line. (The Vikings had missed two field goals and two extra points during the game.) Quarterback Tommy Kramer threw a Hail Mary Pass which was caught by Ahmad Rashād at the two yard line. Rashād backed into the end zone to give Minnesota a 28–23 win with no time left.

1981 Minnesota Vikings season

The 1981 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 21st season, the 62nd regular season of the National Football League, and the final season for the team at Metropolitan Stadium. The Vikings finished with a record of seven wins and nine losses, and missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

The Vikings attempted 709 passes in 1981 (44.31 per game) a league record that stood for 30 years until it was broken by the 2012 Detroit Lions.

Hoover Metropolitan Stadium

Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (The Hoover Met), is a former minor league baseball park located in the Birmingham, Alabama, USA, suburb of Hoover. It was home of the Birmingham Barons of the Southern League from 1988 to 2012, replacing historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham. The stadium also serves as the home for the SEC Baseball Tournament, as well as the primary home for Hoover High School football. It is located in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area near Interstate 459 at Exit 10 just off Alabama State Route 150. The stadium is located three miles from the Riverchase Galleria, one of the south's largest shopping centers.

The seating capacity is 10,800 for baseball and can accommodate up to 16,000 when the patio, banquet, and grassy side areas are used. The stadium also houses 12 suites and state-of-the-art dressing and training rooms. The stadium also features a meeting/banquet room named for Michael Jordan, who played for the Barons during his brief foray into professional baseball, during which time the stadium experienced its largest crowds for professional baseball. (The Barons were at the time an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, which Jordan's business interests with owner Jerry Reinsdorf were related. Also, the Southeastern Conference games are very widely attended)

The City of Hoover operates the stadium and an adjacent recreational vehicle (RV) park.

The Hoover Met hosted the AVP Birmingham Open on July 13–16, 2006, the first beach volleyball tournament to ever be played in Alabama. The feature court was above the baseball diamond as well as eight other courts on the field, made of 222 tons of sand per court.

The stadium also played host to the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship.

Along with Birmingham city officials, the Barons announced plans in November 2010 to return to Birmingham with a new field to be constructed downtown, near the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus. Pending contract negotiations and construction, play at the new field was originally expected to begin with the 2012 season. Due to site selection, financing issues, and problems obtaining all of the land sought by the developers the move was delayed until the 2013 season.On December 20, 2012, the City of Hoover announced a change in name changing the name of the ballpark back to its original name, "The Hoover Metropolitan Stadium". The name change took effect on January 1, 2013.

The Hoover Met hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2015 season while its on-campus stadium in Tuscaloosa, Sewell–Thomas Stadium, underwent major renovations. As part of the agreement, outfield fences were moved in to more closely match the dimensions of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, home of the College World Series. The new configuration remained in place for the 2015 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament.

Pontiac Silverdome

The Pontiac Silverdome (also known as simply the Silverdome) was a domed stadium in Pontiac, Michigan. It opened in 1975 and sat on 127 acres (51 ha) of land. When the stadium opened, it featured a fiberglass fabric roof held up by air pressure, the first use of the architectural technique in a major athletic facility. With a seating capacity of 82,000+, it was the largest stadium in the National Football League (NFL) until FedExField (91,000 capacity) in suburban Washington, D.C., opened in 1997.

It was primarily the home of the Detroit Lions of the NFL from 1975 to 2001 and was also home to the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1978 to 1988. In addition, the Silverdome also served as the home venue for the Detroit Express of the North American Soccer League and the Michigan Panthers of the United States Football League, as well as two college bowl games: the Cherry Bowl and the Motor City Bowl. In 2012, the Silverdome served as the home venue of the Detroit Mechanix of the American Ultimate Disc League and hosted the league championship game that season.

The stadium was a regular concert venue and hosted a number of athletic and non-athletic events, including the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XVI, WrestleMania III, early round games of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and regional games in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.

After the opening of Ford Field in 2002, the stadium was left without a permanent tenant. It first closed in 2006, but after multiple attempts to solicit redevelopment plans, the city sold the stadium at auction in 2009 for only $550,000 (less than 1% of the cost to build the dome). It reopened in 2010 and hosted several events, but closed again, this time permanently, in 2013. The roof was destroyed by a winter storm. Owners auctioned the stadium's contents in 2014 with no future development through June 2015.

The site of the stadium currently houses thousands of recalled Volkswagen vehicles.

In 2017, the Silverdome was condemned and prepared for demolition by Adamo Demolition; the upper ring of the stadium, which had supported the roof structure, was imploded on December 4, 2017, after a failed attempt the previous day. Following the implosion, the remains of the stadium were brought down in sections with hydraulic excavators, and the last free standing section was felled by late March 2018.

Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament

The Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament (sometimes known simply as the SEC Tournament) is the conference tournament in baseball for the Southeastern Conference (SEC). It is a double-elimination tournament and seeding is based on regular season records. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. The SEC Tournament champion is separate from the conference champion. The conference championship is determined solely by regular season record.

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Nicollet Park
Home of the
Minneapolis Millers

1956–1960
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
Griffith Stadium
Home of the
Minnesota Twins

1961–1981
Succeeded by
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Preceded by
First stadium
Home of the
Minnesota Vikings

1961–1981
Succeeded by
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Preceded by
Shea Stadium
Host of the MLB All-Star Game
1965
Succeeded by
Busch Memorial Stadium
Preceded by
Texas Stadium
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Host of NFC Championship Game
1975
1977
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Texas Stadium
Franchise
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Division championships (20)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (1)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Seasons (59)
Franchise
Ballparks
Culture and lore
Important figures
Key personnel
World Series
championships (3)
Pennants (6)
Division titles (10)
Wild Card titles (1)
Minor league affiliates
Defunct stadiums of the National Football League
Early era:
19201940
Merger era:
19411970
Current era:
1971–present
Stadiums
used by
NFL teams
temporarily
American League
National League

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