When the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington was torn down the Minnesota Vikings were ill prepared for what happened after the last game.
After the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota 10-6 on December 20th, 1981, fans rushed the field at the Met to grab anything they could. They tore down the goal posts, the loudspeakers in the end zone and pieces of the scoreboard. After the melee subsided nine people were arrested.
But come Sunday after the Vikings last game in the Metrodome they will be prepared.
Nearly twice the number of Minneapolis police will be on hand when the Vikings play the Detroit Lions in the Metrodome on December 29th as compared to a typical game. Extra personnel from Whelan Security, the company that provides private security for the Vikings, will also be on hand according to Minnesota Public Radio News.
Officials are determined that they near riot from 32 years ago won’t happen again.
“There will obviously be a great deal of attention for inside security, just monitoring so that fans can celebrate, but do so safely and responsibly,” said Medaria Arradondo, the police inspector in charge of the First Precinct in downtown Minneapolis.
“All told, we’re looking at close to 700 security representatives within the building,” Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said. “We don’t expect any issues, but we want this to be a memorable game for our fans, and we want to do it in a safe and respectful way.”
So if you’re thinking about taking anything home from the Metrodome as a souvenir, don’t.
“Nobody’s leaving with anything,” said Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. “We’re putting that rule in place, and we’re going to stick to it from the beginning of the game to the end.”
And the new NFL bag policy will help greatly. “People won’t be able to bring any kind of tools or anything that will allow them to unhook things,” she said.
But don’t worry the Vikings will offer mementoes and events at the Metrodome that day. Fans will be able to bring home a token of the Metrodome era, taking down the goal post. It will include a commemorative pennant handed to every fan as they come through the doors for that final game.