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Vikings' Metrodome deflates for last time, making way for construction of new stadium

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings' Metrodome has deflated for the last time.

Officials from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority opened the stadium's relief vents to begin the deflation at 7:15 a.m. Saturday. Fans providing the air that supports the roof were turned off. It was done in 35 minutes.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority gave the go-ahead despite concerns about weather conditions. According to the National Weather Service, between 4 and 5 inches of snow fell in the area overnight. Winds were a steady 5 to 10 mph Saturday morning.

The deflation will make way for construction of a new $1 billion stadium located roughly where the Dome stands now in downtown Minneapolis.

Authority Vice Chairman Bill McCarthy called it "a sad and exciting day at the same time."