'Moldy' Metrodome turf to be replaced starting next week

"Moldy" turf at the Metrodome in Minneapolis will be replaced at a cost of $476,984 after a vote Thursday by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

According to the Star Tribune, the panel, which owns the stadium, unanimously approved a bid to replace the playing surface, which suffered water damage after the dome's roof collapsed Dec. 12.

Mold and fungus were detected in the playing-surface material. A July 8 report concluded that attempts to remove and clean problem areas would damage the turf fiber.

Steve Maki, the dome's chief engineer, said removal of the old surface would begin next week. It's scheduled to be done by Aug. 18, two days before a public open house, and one week before a scheduled preseason game between the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys.

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said the new turf also is used at the Superdome in New Orleans and at several college stadiums.

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