Since being constructed in 1981, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome has deflated five times; most of which were caused by heavy snow. The sixth, and final deflation of the 'Dome' will come on purpose Saturday, January 18.

Crews will "pull the plug" on Saturday morning, shutting off power to the systems that keep the Metrodome's teflon roof inflated. Experts with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority say they are unsure when the deflation will be complete, citing a number of factors that include temperature and wind speed. The team responsible for deflating the stadium will have the option to open the doorways to speed up the process. According to a statement from a member of the MSFA, opening the doors after cutting the power would cut the deflation time to about 23 minutes. It is unknown at this time whether or not this strategy will be employed.

The MSFA and representatives from the Minnesota Vikings are discouraging fans and other spectators from visiting the Metrodome site to watch the deflation, citing safety concerns. To alleviate the curiosity of people interested in watching the deflation, the Minnesota Vikings and MSFA are working with a company called EarthCam, who has set up cameras to capture photos and video of the deflation and chronicle the construction process.

A camera capturing still photos of the Metrodome site has been online since December 27. The camera captures photos every 15 minutes, keeping an archive of the entire process of rebuilding on the current Metrodome site.

In addition to photos, a video stream of the site, including the deflation, will also be available starting later today. We will add a link as soon as it becomes available.

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