Look for some minor changes coming to the Metrodome soon.
The exterior of the dome and many of the areas inside the stadium when it was built were painted with generic colors because the building had three tenants – the Twins, the Vikings and the Gophers football team. With the Gophers already gone to their new stadium and the Twins vacating the Metrodome in a little more than a month, the Vikings will be the only sports tenant bringing in revenue. So it stands to reason that the building will take on a larger Vikings feel to it.
Among the plans being discussed are to paint the red columns outside the dome purple and gold. While the team can't change the name from the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (that's a Minnesota
state law), they have been given permission to sell sponsorships to the different entrance gates, the naming rights for the field itself and, if they can find a taker, sell advertising on the dome's roof.
This is a must for the Vikings, who rank at the bottom of stadium revenue in the NFL. One of the reasons so many new stadiums have been built is because of the changes in revenue streams in the modern NFL economy, where luxury boxes and naming rights generate millions of dollars for the teams that have them. That was the primary reason both Lambeau Field and Soldier Field underwent renovations in the last decade and one of the reasons the Vikings desperately want out of the Metrodome, which wasn't built with those sort of high-end amenities.
Whether the Vikings can find any takers in this difficult economy is unknown, but with the increased interest in the team generated by the Brett Favre
signing, it wouldn't be a shock to see more corporations trying to co-brand with the Vikings in the coming months.
Bernard Berrian is healing from his hamstring injury, but there still isn't any certainty that he will be ready to play when the Vikings play Houston Monday night.
Despite a spike in season ticket and single-game ticket sales, the Vikings are listed in The Washington Post as one of the teams facing potential blackouts this season. The worst scenario is with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team has already eliminated seats in its stadium, but they're bracing for none of their home games to be available to the locals. Other teams with serious ticket-selling concerns are the Chargers, Lions, Rams, 49ers, Raiders and Bengals.
Brad Childress got himself on a list he probably doesn't want to be on. USA Today came out with a list of coaches who are on the hot seat to keep their jobs after the 2009 season. Only three coaches – Dick Jauron of Buffalo, Jack Del Rio of Jacksonville and Wade Phillips of Dallas – were listed as coaches on a "hotter hot seat" than Chilly. Considering the expectations surrounding the Vikings this season, just making the playoffs may not be enough. The team has added the needed component parts through the draft, trades and free agency, and anything less than a strong performance could have Childress looking over his shoulder.
From, the You Can't Make It Up Department comes this: An auction was held Friday selling items that belonged to former Viking Onterrio Smith, including his infamous device "The Original Whizzinator." Smith was busted at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with the device in May 2005, which is used to pass urine tests. The auction brought in a high bid of $750.
The NFL career of Kelly Campbell may be coming to an end. He was placed on the waived-injured list by the Buccaneers, which will likely end in his release.
Linebacker Napoleon Harris, who had two stints with the Vikings, may also be calling it a career. He was unsigned until a week ago when the Raiders brought him back (he was part of the Randy Moss trade) and his second turn in Oakland lasted just one week. He was released in order to sign undrafted rookie Chris O'Neil. Harris was signed by the Vikings last year when injuries hit the linebacker corps.
A couple of former Vikings made big contributions to their respective teams in Saturday's Chargers-Falcons game. San Diego running back Michael Bennett caught three passes for 84 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown, and Falcons wide receiver Robert Ferguson caught two passes for 24 yards in Atlanta's final drive, which resulted in a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds.
The Metrodome has long been a stadium that lacked character, but that could slowly change this fall. With the Twins and Gophers vacating the stadium, it will be taking on more of a Vikings feel.
The Metrodome will be taking on more of a Vikings feel in the coming months.
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Getty)