Updated: 04/14/2014 9:13 PM
Created: 04/14/2014 4:21 PM KSTP.com
By: Nick Tabbert
TCF Bank Stadium will soon be without its familiar green, maroon and gold turf. Crews began removing the playing surface Monday in order to replace it with a new field heating system.
The change is prompted by the Minnesota Vikings, who will play games at the University of Minnesota's stadium during the 2014 and 2015 seasons while the team constructs its new stadium at the site of the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The Vikings will also add more storage space, concession upgrades and about 2,000 temporary bleacher seats to the stadium. It's all part of a $6.6 million renovation.
Removal of the turf is expected to be finished by Friday, the University said.
Day 1 of field renovation project. All turf will be removed by Friday. pic.twitter.com/L554wXcAlI— TCF Bank Stadium (@TCFBankStadium) April 14, 2014
TCF chose FieldTurf, a nationally-known company that serves high school, college, and NFL teams, to install the turf for TCF when it first opened in 2009.
After the Metrodome's roof collapsed in 2010, the Vikings played the Chicago Bears at TCF on a cold Monday night in December. The field had not been used since the Gophers' final game in November, and snowfall covered the field in the hours leading up to the game.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was sacked early on in that game by Corey Wootton and suffered a concussion, ending his storied career. Other players complained of the tough field conditions as well, and when talks of the Vikings playing at TCF began, the addition of heated seating was a must-have.
The Gophers open the 2014 season on Thursday, August 28, against Eastern Illinois. The Vikings open the 2014 preseason at TCF in early August against the Oakland Raiders.