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Decision looming on Metrodome

Holes in the collapsed Metrodome roof can be seen in Minneapolis on Dec. 12. The inflatable roof collapsed after a snowstorm that dumped 17 inches on the city. (AP file photo by Ann Heisenfelt)

Minneapolis (AP) — The commission that oversees the Metrodome is getting ready to decide whether to replace the stadium’s damaged roof entirely or just replace torn parts of it.

The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission was to meet Thursday to hear from engineers who have been assessing the damage since the roof collapsed in a blizzard in December. Commission officials expect insurance will cover most of the cost of replacing or repairing the roof.

A full replacement likely would take longer. Commission Chairman Ted Mondale estimated full replacement would take between five and six months.

That could intrude on the NFL exhibition season beginning in August, though the Vikings might be able to use the University of Minnesota’s TCF Stadium as a backup.

The 2011 season is the last on the Vikings’ Metrodome lease, and team officials are seeking public financing for a replacement stadium.

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