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Hayden Goethe, Published September 16 2009

Goethe column: For all of its flaws, the Metrodome leaves a mark

I am a grown adult with an emotional attachment to a building.

That’s all I could think about when I left the Metrodome on Sunday after watching my final Minnesota Twins game there.

I got to see the sign in left field counting down the number of home games left this season knocked down to just “9” as the Twins prepare to play their first season outdoors at Target Field in 2010.

I don’t make regular trips to Minnesota Vikings games, so there’s a pretty good chance that was the final time I’ll ever feel that rush you get when air pushes you out the doors of the building.

The Twins won 8-0 on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics, which seemed like a fitting opponent since the Twins and A’s were big rivals while I was a kid.

Both teams have enjoyed better seasons in the last decade, but I am happy to say that the final home run I saw hit at the Metrodome was off the bat of Joe Mauer.

That’s always been the charm of the Metrodome, at least when the Twins have stars worthy of providing such charm.

From a fan’s perspective, the Metrodome couldn’t be more wrong for the game of baseball. It has horrible sight lines, artificial turf and a roof to prevent fans from enjoying those beautiful summer nights in Minnesota.

And it’s a white roof to boot. As Adam Sandler often said during a “Saturday Night Live” skit from the 1990s, “Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?”

The Metrodome was an awful facility to watch a game at. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I went to Fenway Park in Boston for my first outdoor major league game two years ago. Does watching big league baseball without a fiberglass fabric roof above you feel strange? It did to me. What other segment of the baseball fan population can say that?

The appeal of the Metrodome for me was always the star players they produced.

I went to my first Twins game at the Metrodome in the summer of 1987, and there was nothing I more looked forward to then making the annual or bi-annual trip there to watch Kirby Puckett roam center field.

The Metrodome played host to two World Series champions. Fans saw Torii Hunter make highlight reel plays and Johan Santana dominate American League hitters en route to two Cy Young Awards.

Watching Puckett at the Metrodome is like seeing Steven Tyler perform at a karaoke bar or Mozart playing in a night club. The venue isn’t great, but you’re still seeing the best there is.

Puckett died a few years ago, and now my days at the Metrodome are done.

I can’t wait for Target Field to open next season. Driving by it on the way to the Metrodome on Sunday got me excited for next season.

But I feel like I left a part of my childhood behind after Sunday’s game. And that’s not a void that Target Field can fill.


Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558 or hgoethe@forumcomm.com