The incoming chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said the Metrodome might not be ready for the start of the Vikings season this fall.
Ted Mondale said the December collapse of the stadium's roof is more complicated than it initially looked, and that there's a possibility the team's preseason might have to start elsewhere.
"I can't tell you whether it will or it won't [be ready]," Mondale said. "There's a couple of factors involved."
He said engineers are still studying the dome roof that deflated during a December snowstorm. For the first time, he said that study might recommend replacement of the whole roof.
"Staff has told me that probably the longest period of time it would take to replace the entire roof, which is about the most time-consuming option, would be about six months," he said. "So, we're right up onto a date to be able to be ready to start an exhibition season, an entire season, to fulfill the contract with the Vikings to play in this facility through 2011."
The Vikings typically start their pre-season home schedule in the last half of August. Mondale said that insurance is likely to cover all but about $25,000 of any repair to the roof.
Mondale was sworn in Thursday as chair of the commission. At his first meeting, commission members praised the choice of Mondale as a sign Dayton is serious about getting a new stadium deal in this legislative session.
Mondale is also a former chairman of the Metropolitan Council and son of former Vice President Walter Mondale.
The report by engineers studying the damage caused by last month's blizzard and options for repairing it is expected before the end of January.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)