Roof collapse forces Vikings-Giants move to Detroit

DETROIT (Reuters) - The New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings NFL game will be played in Detroit on Monday after a huge snow storm caused the Minneapolis Metrodome's inflated roof to collapse on Sunday, forcing the relocation.

The game originally for Sunday had already been postponed after the Giants were stranded in Kansas City when their charter flight was unable to land in Minneapolis because of the storm.

The league was later forced to moved the contest when the blizzard ripped open the Metrodome's roof early Sunday morning covering the field in snow.

Several alternate venues were considered, including the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium and the Super Dome in New Orleans before settling on Ford Field where the Detroit Lions were taking on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

The NFL said ticket holders to the Vikings-Giants game would receive preferred seating and any extra seats would be given away free on a first-come basis.

But getting to Detroit will be a major challenge for both teams and fans as a massive winter storm sweeps across the U.S. Midwest disrupting several NFL games.

The Chicago Bears and New England Patriots were preparing to play in a blizzard and Arctic-like conditions later on Sunday. The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns game began in a freezing rain.

"Both teams were satisfied that they can travel in later today," said Lions president Tom Lewand in a statement released by the team. "One of the teams may be coming in tomorrow morning but I think they were satisfied that logistically it will not be an issue."

A blizzard warning was in effect for Chicago and parts of northern Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan and North and South Dakota. As much as 20 inches of snow had fallen on some areas, the National Weather Service said.

The Chicago Department of Aviation said more than 900 flights had been canceled at O'Hare airport and another 250 at Midway airport.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency for the state's 72 counties as a precaution, calling the National Guard to active duty to help local authorities.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Dave Thompson)