Special good-bye planned for Metrodome final-game finale

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The Minnesota Vikings will play their final game of the season in the Metrodome on Sunday. The game against the Detroit Lions doesn't mean much for the struggling 4-10-1 Vikings, but the contest will mark a big milestone – the end of an era for the storied downtown Minneapolis stadium.

To celebrate, several special events are planned, starting with a "Last Season, Last Call" event Saturday afternoon for 6,000 season ticket holders who will get one last chance to take photos on the field, near the Vikings ship and in the team locker room, the Associated Press reports.

Fans at Sunday's noon game will get a pennant marking the final season. Former Vikings Matt Birk and Robert Smith, plus Adrian Peterson and former coach Bud Grant, are expected speakers Sunday, the Pioneer Press reported. "It was progress," Grant told the newspaper of the Vikings moving to the Metrodome from Metropolitan Stadium. "Everyone was excited to move downtown, and now we're excited to have a new stadium."

The Vikings also posted a warning message for would-be souvenir hunters: "For Sunday’s game, the team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority will implement a “zero tolerance policy” that prohibits fans from removing any stadium property. Extra security, including twice as many Minneapolis police officers that serve a typical home game, will be on hand to ensure fans can celebrate in a safe and respectful environment."

Dismantling of the 31-year-old dome will begin soon. The team plans to play the next two seasons at TCF Bank on the University of Minnesota campus.

Construction of the new stadium, to be built on the Metrodome site, is expected to start even as the old stadium is being torn down. The new $1 billion, 65,00-seat facility is be completed by mid-2016.

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