It's not every day that the folks from AccuWeather talk about the Minnesota Vikings, but they have a pretty interesting story on their site today about the stadium that the purple will be calling home starting in 2016.
Specifically, they're talking about the roof of the stadium, which is going to be specially designed to prevent snow from accumulating on it. After what happened to the Metrodome roof in 2010, it makes sense that this would be a priority for the stadium's architects, but the way they're going about it is pretty unique.
The new stadium's pitched roof will allow snow to slide off into catch basins and it will also have a unique snow melt system installed into the roof designed by Uponor North America, a company that provides plumbing and indoor climate and infrastructure systems for residential and commercial buildings.
The company manufactures the cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX, tubing which will be used in the stadium. Hot water that runs through the PEX tubes will raise the surface temperature of the roof, melting the snow before it accumulates, according to Joe Grubesic, the Midwest director of sales for Uponor.
"The stadium is designed to work in conjunction with catch basins lined along the outside perimeter to keep snow or ice from falling on occupants outside the stadium," Grubesic said. "The Uponor snowmelt system is designed to melt all snow or ice that accumulates within these catch basins."
Now, that sounds pretty impressive, and it is. However, this technology isn't new to NFL stadiums. As the story points out, this is the sort of system that's generally placed under the turf to keep the ground from freezing in cold weather stadiums. This is apparently the first time, however, that Uponor has used it as part of a roof system. So, if the snow is really coming down, the roof will keep the snow from building up.
With the amount of snow that the Twin Cities can receive in the winter time. . .and in the fall. . .and in the early spring. . .and even into the middle of spring some years. . .it looks like the stadium's builders have really pulled out all the stops to make sure we don't have a repeat of what happened to the Metrodome almost five years ago. (Yeah, really, it's been almost five years.) It's just one more thing that's going to make the new Vikings' stadium the best in the league from the moment it opens its doors in a little more than 13 months.