Renee Tessman, KARE
Minneapolis - It's one more step in the goodbye to the Metrodome.
In the span of just over 30 minutes on Saturday morning, a landmark that defined the Minneapolis skyline for more than 30 years was deflated.
Crews opened the stadium's relief vents to begin the deflation at 7:15 a.m.
The roof heaved and slowly lowered with snow sliding into the crater, but the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said never did the roof rip or tear. Deflation took 35 minutes.
It was just as the sun was beginning to rise that the Metrodome roof came down.
"We had to do this sooner than anticipated. Safety drives all these decisions," Steve Maki, Director of Facilities Management with the MSFA said.
It was the safety of spectators and possibility of winds picking up later that moved deflation to a time when many were just waking up.
"I'm happy to report the deflation went as planned," Vice Chair of MSFA, Bill McCarthy said.
Not only were cameras rolling outside during the deflation. They were rolling inside, too. The view inside was one that only demolition crews and a few select people from the Vikings and MSFA were allowed to see in person.
"The operations staff turned off the power opened the doors and the relief vents and it took about 35 minutes for the roof to deflate," said McCarthy.
"We basically took turns and turned fans off so everyone had an opportunity to bring the roof down," Maki said.
The snow that fell overnight on top of the Metrodome gave the roof some added weight that helped bring it down.
Crews immediately tied down the roof and began cutting it off in sections.
Meantime, across the street at Hubert's Sports Bar and Grill, others held a Deflation Day Party.
Ryan Wakefield of Bloomington eagerly waited outside for the doors to open.
"There is going to be a party, 1982 prices. I wasn't even born yet but $1.50 beers," he said.
Nick Vetter, of Low and Inside, was selling T-shirts for $15 that played on the word dome and essentially said goodbye to an old friend. Vetter held up a shirt and read, "Domo arigato which in Japanese means, 'Thank you. Thanks a lot.'"
Dawn and Todd Glocke ,of Saint Louis Park, became friends at the Metrodome and came to Hubert's to say goodbye.
"We met through Viking fan group and just got married a couple weeks ago two week anniversary," Todd Glocke said.
Of course some of the customers at Hubert's had better ideas on to take the roof down.
Andy Bright, of Minneapolis, suggested filling it with Jiffy Pop popcorn.
"If we put enough popcorn back in there I think we'll blow the top off that thing. That would have been a better way of doing it," he laughed.
One T-shirt in the window read, "Got roof?" Not anymore." But something new will soon rise in its place.
"I'm really anxious for them to replace what we have here with this new stadium, and oh, I can't wait to walk in that place!" said Glocke.
Demolition of the Metrodome's concrete structure begins next Monday and is anticipated to be complete by early April.
The new stadium is expected to be ready in time for the 2016 NFL season.