Under heavy snow, sports dome collapses in Vadnais Heights, Minn.

- This weekend's storm dropped a hefty amount of snow, causing the dome at the sports center in Vadnais Heights to collapse.

The collapse could have a major impact on local spring sports, as losing a major facility adds to an already tight supply of indoor space. The Metrodome also collapsed in 2010 after heavy snowfall.

At the West St. Paul Regional Athletics Center, they're already running pretty much from 6 a.m. to midnight most days, so they don't have much room to pick up the slack. 

“Our phone hasn’t stopped ringing, all weekend and all day today," said Andy Kaasa, manager of West St. Paul Regional Athletics Center. “Even during the blizzard on Saturday night, we had major championship games going on until midnight in some of our full winter leagues that they didn’t want to cancel…so we were open almost 24 hours.”

While crews worked to ensure the West St. Paul dome held during the storm, the snow was doing a number on the roof of Vadnais Sports Center, causing it to slowly collapse.

“We pump up the pressure and we heat it up, so that way it melts before it turns to ice and slides off the sides,” Kaasa said.

“We had staff on duty monitoring the building because the dome had collapsed back in 2010. So we were keeping the air handling units clear of snow and everything was operating well, but then it came down early Sunday morning," said Jon Oyanagi with Ramsey Country Parks and Recreation.

Staff on site Monday tried to figure out exactly what caused this year's collapse.

“We’ll wait for the snow to clear and better weather before we can take a look at the full extent of the damage," Oyanagi said.

One impact is clear - teams and leagues that use the facility will have to find space elsewhere for the next several weeks.
 

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