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Vikings unveil glass-top stadium plan

The SportsXchange

Plans for the $980 million Vikings Stadium in downtown Minneapolis will not include a retractable roof, but a majority of the top of the building is see-through thanks to a transparent membrane that gives the appearance of a large windows to allow views of the city skyline.

The roof will have an exaggerated slope to abate concerns about snow building up, an issue that helped put the Metrodome out of commission on more than one occasion.

The advanced architecture implementation was used in the plans for the Beijing Olympics "Water Cube" structure in 2008.

Affordability was the biggest detriment encountered in the Vikings' wish for a fully retractable roof, with an estimated cost of $40 million to $50 million. The new structure will have five retractable doors on the west side to create an "open feel" according to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which oversees contstruction of the project.

The sliding windows aren't unusual in football stadiums. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Cowboys Stadium near Dallas have almost identical features.

The 65,000-seat stadium is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2016 season at the current Metrodome site.

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