Farewell, Metrodome

Submitted by WolverineHistorian on November 1st, 2012 at 4:22 PM

When the team takes the field this Saturday against the Gophers in Minneapolis, it will be the first time since 1981 that the game won't be played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

The Metrodome has had a bad reputation over the years.  It's dark, it's blah, it's not the on campus stadium that makes college football feel so special.  But as a Michigan fan, it's hard not to feel some kind of attachment to that building when your team has a perfect 12-0 record there.  During those 12 wins, we've seen some notable moments:

*In 2003, we had the biggest comeback in school history after trailing 28-7 in the 4th quarter.

*In 1987, Jamie Morris broke the all time Michigan rushing record.

*In 1983, Steve Smith ran for a 75 yard touchdown, a school record run for a Michigan QB held until Denard Robinson arrived. 

*In 2008, Nick Sheridan & company looked like a competent team.

*In 1991 and 2003, Michigan played their only 2 non-Saturday regular season games there (that I know of off the top of my head.)

*In 1989, Bo earned a share of his 13th Big Ten title there.  We would get the outright title the following week beating the Buckeyes.

That dome may not have been much to look at but it certainly gave us plenty to smile about, unless your name is Tony Boles.  So, with the exception of Tony's knee injury, I say to the Metrodome: Thanks for the memories.  May we have as much success at Minnesota's new stadium that we had here. 



November 1st, 2012 at 4:30 PM ^

I remember my feet sticking to the floor in that place. It was like a cheap movie theatre. I went in 2006 and there was a Twins game earlier in the day. All they did was sweep the trash to the aisles and they left it there for the duration of the football game. What a dump. 

Big Brown Jug

November 1st, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

You could get tickets for nearly free, nobody cared where you sat, you could get a good beer at any concession stand, and it was warm in November.  


For this year's game, I bought scalped tickets for $50 apiece, I have to sit in the upper deck corner where the weather is going to be upper 30s and cloudy, and there's only one beer garden at one end of the stadium that we literally had to pass a state law to force the school administration to allow.  


TCF Stadium is gorgeous, on campus, and everything the Gophers need it to be, but part of me will still miss that guaranteed win in the Metrodome.


November 1st, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

Unless I am mixing it up with wherever Minnesota played before 1981, I remember Bo complaining about how hard the field was at the Metrodome and worrying about injuries.  If it is the same field, I am relieved that the players won't have to be at such great of a risk.

Ali G Bomaye

November 2nd, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

Watching a few of these WH Minnesota highlights clips has made me think - has any B1G team gone through more subtle uniform changes than Minnesota in the past 20 years?  Maroon helmets, gold helmets, pants stripes, no stripes, M_M jersey, etc.  Maybe Purdue and Sparty come close, but I can't think of anyone else that has had quite as many tweaks.

Wolverine Pride

November 1st, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

Living in Minnesota, I have attended every game 2003 - present.  The 2003 game will always be a great memory.  The dome itself will always be a bad memory, what a dump.  The new stadium, TCF Bank Stadium or as the locals call it, "The Bank" is a great facility.  Built the same time as Target Field for the Twins, it has great amenities and there are few bad seats in the place.

Heading up early for a tailgate at the Fairgrounds parking lot, free shuttle to the stadium.  If you are attending and are looking for parking, seems to be the best place.  Go Blue!


November 1st, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

I'm taking my HS Baseball team over to the Twin Cities to play in the Metrodome this coming season.  I think it will be a great experience for the kids.  

I've seen 3 Michigan games in the Dome.  I've yet to see TCF Bank Stadium, but I'll be there this weekend!   

French West Indian

November 2nd, 2012 at 3:03 PM ^

The Silverdome was awesome.  I loved that place when Barry Sanders was ripping up the NFL.

Also, it's worth noting that the Silverdome was only for football whereas the Metrodome is a multi-purpose facility with both baseball and football as major tenants so calling it the "Silverdome west" isn't really accurate.


November 1st, 2012 at 5:17 PM ^

I saw Michigan play the Gophers there in 1998.  Michigan won 15-10, it was an awful game to watch.  The shuttle ride to get out there was horrible.  The environment there was horrible.  The only redeeming quality was that beer was sold, which made the experience moderately tolerable.  Looking forward to catching a road game actually being playing on the Minnesota campus in the future.


November 1st, 2012 at 6:01 PM ^

I am coming up for the Northwestern game and want to know a good area for a hotel. Looking around the airport and in the Livonia area. Any suggestions of a hotel that has a good bar in it or close to a good bar?

Kilgore Trout

November 1st, 2012 at 6:29 PM ^

If you're looking at Livonia, I'd look right around 6 mile and 275.  There is a Marriot attached to Laural Park Mall that has a Bar Louie which is pretty good for drinks and watching games.  There is also a Buffalo WIld Wings across 6 mile.  There are several hotels right there.  Fairfield by Marriot, Holiday Inn, Hyatt Place, Best Western.  If you go up to 7 mile and 275, there is Doc's Sports Bar and Retreat which has tons of TVs and good food. 

This area is also right by M14 which will take you right into Ann Arbor for the game.  It's a pretty solid area with more options than you're going to find by the airport.


November 1st, 2012 at 7:16 PM ^

*In 1991 and 2003, Michigan played their only 2 non-Saturday regular season games there (that I know of off the top of my head.)

I'm sure they weren't the only ones. In the early days of college football, games were played throughout the week.


November 1st, 2012 at 8:19 PM ^

I only got to see one event in the Metrodome: Game 163 in 2009. It was a dump, but it was the greatest baseball game I ever got to be at live. Metrodome had a knack for putting some damn good entertainment on that beat-up carpet and indoor soccer stadium that smelled like a hockey bag. Michigan's 2003 comeback, Cunningham to Randy Moss, and probably the loudest playoff baseball that'll ever be recorded.


November 1st, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

of the dome, it seemed like some Michigan player came home with a ACL injury every year.


Absolutely hated that place, terrible college atmosphere, terrible field, terrible everything.


November 2nd, 2012 at 6:12 AM ^

i hate this dump for 2 reasons.

first, i am a vikings fan. growing up in the 70's i watched the vikes on tv play outside at the met in the snow and freezing cold. as a kid, it was one of my fondest sports memories. the purple people eaters destroying opposing teams in the rain, mud, snow and cold. now, they play in that glorified roller rink and it sucks. at least i will get a couple years of them playing at the new gophers stadium while they build another indoor stadium.

second, the tony boles injury. i thought boles was the most talented running back ever at michigan. a great career ruined by that turf.




November 2nd, 2012 at 10:12 AM ^

Donny was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors... and bowling, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and... up to... Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling. And so, Theodore Donald Karabotsos, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince. 

Der Alte

November 9th, 2012 at 9:19 AM ^

I attended that '89 game in the Metrodome when Tony Boles suffered that devastating knee injury. I endorse the previous comments about that place. I remember that it seemed sort of dark. It was maybe half to two-thirds full of (mostly) indifferent Minnesotans, so crowd noise and enthusiasm were low to nonexistent. In its resilience, the playing surface was apparently driveway-like. When Tony was helped off the field we all knew it was a serious injury --- how serious we would find out later.

That incident forever influenced my Metrodome memories. I'm glad I never thereafter saw the inside of the place. Fortunately, sanity finally prevailed at the other U of M and they built a new, actual football stadium on the campus.