A Small Part Of The HHH Metrodome Lives On In Webster
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A little piece of downtown Minneapolis has found a home in the community of Webster, South Dakota. Visitors to Bob Wiley Field can experience sitting in a seat that once was apart of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
The ballpark has two sections of seats, approximately 20 in each section, from the stadium that once housed the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. One of the sections of seats is along the first base line, while the other is down the line in third.
It all started when the Metrodome was being torn down after the 2013 NFL season – the Metropolitan Sports Commission began selling seats to the general public.
Webster Baseball Volunteer Chad Hesla and volunteer Joseph Gaikowski decided to purchase around 100 seats that they could give away as part of a fundraiser for the baseball complex in the community.
It wasn’t long after, the seats arrived in Webster.
Webster Baseball Booster Club
Chandler Day, a player for Post-40 American Legion, who has grown up playing ball in Webster, had an idea.
“When I was thinking of my Eagle Scout project, I immediately thought of [Bob Wiley Field],” said Day. “Joe [Gaikowski] said he would help me with it and we got going on building platforms for the seats that could be placed at the stadium.”
Webster Volunteer Gaikowski said it’s fun to see how the spectators treat the seats when they come to Bob Wiley Field to watch a game.
“Now when they sit here, the crowd gravitates towards those first, and then they bring their lawn chairs, or move to the bleacher seating,” said Gaikowski. “They’re comfortable seats and they’re now apart of history that will be here a long-long time.”
The seats that are now at Bob Wiley Field are the same seats that experienced both the ’87 and ’91 World Series from inside the thunder dome of a building in the Twin Cities.
Along with some of the seats from the Metrodome, a few sections of the field turf from the ‘old dome’ are in Webster as well. It helps cover the floor inside the baseball practice facility at Veteran’s Memorial Complex.
The extra 60 or so seats that weren’t used for Day’s Eagle Scout project were then auctioned off as a fundraiser for the ballpark. Some people got one or two, while others received a few more.
It’s pretty much a given – if a person were to go through some of the homes in Webster, they’d likely find Metrodome seats scattered throughout a few of them. They’re just one an example of how the community has supported their local baseball teams and field.