Everyone was quick to blame the Bears' current "luck-streak" as the likely culprit responsible for the Metrodome roof collapse on Saturday night. Let's face it, if the Bears' and Vikings' Monday Night Football game could not be played at home, and were moved to, say, Detroit, the Viking to Bear fan ratio would likely be somewhere around 50/50. Despite that, the Vikings know that the Bears have struggled to beat them on home turf in recent years. Under head coach Lovie Smith, the Bears are 1-5 in the Metrodome.
The Vikings have since made it very clear that they have no intention of playing a game outside the Twin Cities. Team officials expressed openly that a game held in Detroit, Chicago or Indianapolis would be nothing short of unacceptable. The likely location to host the game, if not the Metrodome, if TCF Bank Stadium, home to the University of Minnesota Gophers. There are, however, a few issues with hosting the game at TCF. The stadium has already been fully winterized, and it would be of significant cost, likely to the Vikings, to get it game-ready in time for Monday night. Aside from that, the stadium is roughly 12,000 seats smaller than the Metrodome, and there is no word yet on how the Vikings would even begin to handle the seating issues and ticket refunds.
The Vikings met with the company who originally designed and manufactured the Metrodome roof panels on Tuesday afternoon, to assess the damage and devise a feasible timeline for repair. The team has since said that it will announce its plan-of-action sometime Tuesday night. I have to believe that the Vikings are making every possible attempt to have the Metrodome repaired in time to host the Bears, as planned. Whether that is possible or not, remains to be seen.
Last night, the Vikings "hosted" the Giants at Ford Field, in Detroit, giving up 10 penalties in a 21-3 loss on the evening, something that should not happen at "home." Vikings beat reporter Judd Zulgad said Monday night, "The feeling I get from Vikings officials tonight is that they have no intention of having another neutral site game next Monday night."
My guess? The Vikings are pulling out all the stops to bring the Bears to a newly repaired Metrodome on Monday night. We will know whether that is possible sometime tonight.