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'Rollerdome' to continue in new Vikings stadium

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The "Rollerdome" tradition will continue in the new Minnesota Vikings football stadium.

According to a Wall Street Journal online report, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen confirmed that the program will continue in the new Vikings stadium.

"We made sure we designed a new stadium with two concourses that have 360-degree access so that the Rollerdome program could continue," Kelm-Helgen said.

Organizers of Rollerdome had spoken to the Minneapolis City Council and collected hundreds of signatures to express their hopes to allow the skating program to continue in the new stadium.

After several meetings about the new stadium Kelm-Helgen said, "keeping the skating program probably was the number one thing that was mentioned as being important."

Since 1990 thousands of people have been strapping on in-line skates and cruising through the corridors of the Metrodome. WCCO reports that since the program began more than 850,000 people have skated in the dome since the program began.

The program's name even has history. In 1987 then Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka declared that "indoor domes should be used for roller rinks." He then renamed the Vikings' home "Rollerdome." When the Bears came to Minnesota, the Vikings had distributed towels that read "Rollerdome" and the Vikings cheerleaders wore roller skates.

Organizers say the program is for anyone, even beginning skaters. The last Metrodome event is scheduled for Dec. 27. The program will be on a two-and-a-half-year hiatus while the new $975 million stadium is built.

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