Prep Bowl's days at the dome might be numberedby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Minnesota's high school football championships are underway today at the Metrodome, but their days there may be numbered.
Twelve Minnesota high school teams take to the field starting today for the state's football championships, known as the Prep Bowl. It's an annual ritual that dates back to 1982 when the Metrodome opened.
But the high school football teams will have to move out of the dome if the Minnesota Vikings do, according to Bill Lester, chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.
Lester says the stadium can't pay its bills without the Vikings.
"If there is a new alternative for the Vikings, a reconstructed facility on the Metrodome site, or if, in the worst of all possible worlds, the Vikings were no longer in Minnesota, the dome would not be able to cash flow, and would not be a future home for the Prep Bowl," he said.
Lester said the state might move up the schedule to allow teams to play their championships earlier in fall, possibly at TCF Bank Stadium at the U.
This year's Prep Bowl features only one of last year's state champions back to defend its title - Glencoe-Silver Lake. The Panthers are undefeated this year in class 3A, but so are their opponents, New London-Spicer.
That game will be played Saturday, along with the class 4A game - which features Sartell-Saint Stephen against Totino-Grace.
There will be four games Friday, starting with Stephen-Argyle and Nicollet in the 9-man game. Stephen-Argyle had won five straight titles before being knocked out last year.
In class 1A, Adrian, which has never won a championship, will face three-time champ Minneota. Moose Lake/Willow River and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown will face off in the class 2A game. Class 5A will will feature Cretin-Derham Hall against Eden Prairie.
Tim Nelson is a general assignment reporter for MPR News.