The End of a Technology?

We all know that it’s a lie when we say “this is the last __” that we’ll ever need to buy.  You can insert computer, washing machine, television, couch, bed, car, house, or whatever into that blank and the sentence is true.

It turns out that “football stadium” also fits.

As I type this post, it’s Sunday morning and I’m gearing up for a day of football like any other Sunday.  Only, on this day it will be a little different.  It’s the last day of football for the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

It’s kind of funny to be a Vikings fan in this border town.  I remember the first “football day” during my first year of teaching.  Students were encouraged to wear their colours and it was almost 50-50 between the bright orange of the school and the Honolulu Blue of the Detroit Lions.  To keep decorum, I wore a suit jacket over my purple Vikings shirt and was the laughing stock of my classes!

It wasn’t until later that I found out that I wasn’t the only Vikings fan in the school.

I coached the offence for the Senior football team and the defensive coach and I would have a routine that we played on the bus to games.  I would draw up a play on a notepad and he would counter it.  In the seat behind us, our quarterback and middle linebacker would lend their advice.  One play that I drew up got a comment “Hey, the Vikes played that last week!”  It started a conversation that made me realize that I wasn’t as alone as I thought.

For years, the Vikings have played in the Metrodome.  It has a wonderful history and a great story of longevity.  But things can’t last forever and we knew that there were things afoot when the dome collapsed!  Things like this can’t last forever.

Photo Credit: Mr. Jincks via Compfight cc

Given our proximity to Detroit, we were always up for a game or two at the Pontiac Silverdome and the “fun” of entering and leaving a pressurized building in December!  It’s far more convenient to now attend a game at Ford Field.  I’m a fan of architecture and, to the chagrin of my wife, like to get to the stadium early and just walk around and take it all in.  The layout of Ford Field is certainly different and just feels more modern.

It’s also a statement that design is modernized.  This article from the Scientific American does make you think that the designed of a pressurized stadium to support the roof is dated.

Like anything else, things get old and need to be replaced.  At a glance, the new stadium looks like it’s going to be spectacular.  I like the trend in design toward natural lighting and it will be interesting to follow to see if the new stadium opens on time!

But for today, it’s the end of an era.  It would have been exciting to have Minnesota and Detroit battle for the championship in the NFC North.  Sadly, that’s not going to happen.  Ever the optimistic fan, maybe a new stadium is what it’s going to take!

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