It looks like a major headache is in story for the University of Minnesota baseball team. The roof of the Metrodome will not be fixed until March at the earliest, which will affect hundreds of college baseball games that are scheduled to be played there this spring.
The Minnesota Vikings have already moved two football games after the December 12 collapse of the roof and the University of Minnesota has announced that it will not host games in February and March.
“With 32 games at the Metrodome the well-being of the facility obviously has a big impact on our program,” said Minnesota Head Coach John Anderson in a university release. “At this point, we are working with the opposing teams that are affected to make alternate arrangements. With the recent developments in this situation, we do not have any definitive answers regarding those plans. As soon as we finalize those arrangements we will release them publicly.”
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission sent an email to coaches of affected Minnesota colleges today (Wednesday, December 29) to inform them of the news. About 300 Division One, Two and Three college baseball games were slated to be played there this season.
The Minnesota baseball team alone was scheduled to play all 31 of its home games in the Metrodome in 2011. Several other teams like Oklahoma State, Washington State, South Alabama, Gonzaga, Butler, and Illinois were scheduled to face-off in the Dairy Queen Classic and Metrodome Tournaments that were scheduled in the Metrodome in March.
The specific University of Minnesota games that are affected are the annual Legends and Pro Alumni Game on Feb. 5 at 6:35 p.m., Minnesota’s game against Washington State on Thursday, Mar. 3 at 6:35 p.m. all six games of the Dairy Queen Classic, all six games of the Metrodome Tournament, a pair of games against North Dakota on Mar. 22-23, a three-game series against Cal Poly on Mar. 25-27 and a two-game series against Cal State Bakersfield on Mar. 29-30.
The Metrodome has not made any announcements regarding the use of the facility past the month of March. The Gophers have 16 games in the Metrodome in the months of April and May. Those include four home Big Ten series against Purdue (Apr. 1-3), Northwestern (Apr. 15-17), Iowa (Apr. 29-May 1) and Ohio State (May 19-21). That slate also includes a two-game series against Kansas State (Apr. 5-6) and singles games against St. Thomas (Apr. 13) and South Dakota State (Apr. 20).
The Golden Gophers will open their season February 18-20 at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge. They are also at the Wake Forest Tournament the following weekend and are not supposed to open at home until a March 3 game against Washington State, so they still have two-plus months before their first scheduled home game.
The Gophers are in the process of raising $7.5 million to build an on-campus baseball facility. Former Gopher Paul Molitor has been enlisted to help in the process.