Late Friday afternoon, the NFL confirmed that TCF Bank Stadium will be ready, and so the Bears and Vikings will play outdoors in conditions even colder than the game in Chicago last Sunday — temperatures in the teens with a chance of light snow.
It will be the first NFL game outdoors in Minnesota in exactly 29 years — on Dec. 20, 1981, the Vikings played the final game at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota against the Kansas City Chiefs:
Kansas City quarterback Steve Fuller completed 12 of 16 passes for 145 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stan Rome early in the third quarter. The teams traded field goals in the first half before Fuller guided Kansas City on a 63-yard drive that resulted in the game’s lone touchdown and decisive score.
The game featured four future Pro Football Hall of Famers, including both head coaches (Minnesota’s Bud Grant and Kansas City’s Marv Levy) and two Minnesota offensive linemen (tackle Ron Yary and center Jim Langer). The contest was Yary’s last in his 14-year Viking career.
Fuller, of course, later played for the Bears and was the backup to Jim McMahon on the 1985 Super Bowl team. The last game the Bears played an outdoor game in Minnesota was on October 4, 1981; the Vikings defeated the Bears that day, 24-21.
There are still concerns about the game, including the possibility of injury on a frozen field and the fact that the stadium seats 14,000 fewer than the Metrodome, leading to the possibility of ticketholders being turned away.
We’ll keep this StoryStream™ updated throughout the weekend if anything changes.