Thousands left the Metrodome for the final time on Sunday, taking with them some fond memories of the soon-to-be demolished stadium. Some, wanting a far more tangible memento, stole the backs off the stadium's seats.
Well, it's cheaper than heading to the stadium's souvenir shop...we guess.
It's also far quicker than waiting around for officials to get around to dismantling the seats and packaging them for those sentimental Vikings fans in the audience.
As CBS Sports' John Breech reports, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has decided to sell seats for $60, so Vikings faithful can enjoy a piece of the iconic stadium once it is demolished and a new one rises in its place.
Now the intriguing aspect of the story, aside from a bunch of fans thinking that ripping the backs off seats was a worthwhile endeavor, is police officials were preparing for such an occasion.
MPR News' Tim Cook reported on Dec. 20 that officials were doing everything in their power to prevent a debacle like the one that took place the last time the team closed a beloved stadium.
Cook describes a raucous end to the old Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington.
That day, Dec. 20, 1981, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Vikings 10-6. Fans swarmed the field at the end to grab a bit of Met nostalgia.
Down went the goalposts. And the bleachers in the stands. And the loudspeakers in the endzone. And pieces of the scoreboard. And just about anything else that wasn’t set in concrete or welded together.
Instead of watching the Metrodome's end turn into a riotous affair, officials proclaimed there were double the police around to maintain the peace at the Vikings' win over the Lions on Sunday, 14-13, at Mall of America Field.
MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen stated unequivocally at the time that nobody was leaving with impromptu souvenirs: "Nobody’s leaving with anything. We’re putting that rule in place, and we’re going to stick to it from the beginning of the game to the end."
If Jurassic Park taught us anything, it's that life finds a way.
As The Star-Tribune's Michael Rand reports, fans were well-behaved this time around, lending an almost "subdued" atmosphere at the stadium's farewell game.
Somewhere in the stands, a group of fans armed with elbow grease, know-how and determination ripped the backs off some seats.
From there, they managed to sneak out like a poor-man's version of Ocean's Eleven, eluding all those police officers who were on the lookout for anything suspicious—like people carrying around huge parts of the stadium.
Now we imagine there are some fans out there mighty interested in the niche market of stadium seats delivered without their rather useful backs.
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