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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Starter Pack: Last dance at the dome

By Rob Demovsky

A roundup of what’s happening in the Green Bay Packers beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Barring a meeting in the playoffs (which seems unlikely) or a snag in the plans to start building the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium next season (which is more likely), this will be the Packers’ last appearance in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, known now as Mall of America Field.

And it doesn’t sound like many of those on the visiting side are all that broken up about it.

“There’s so many good memories, and some tough ones, too,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Very difficult place to play, always has been. I can remember being up there in a playoff game in 2000 and the quarterback not being able to hear the play call over the speakers. Just a lot of things like that. Incredible home-field advantage for the Vikings.

“But it’s time.”

The Vikings are expected to play the next two seasons at the University of Minnesota while their new stadium is being constructed on the old site.

McCarthy has actually fared better at the Metrodome than his predecessors. He has a 4-3 record there, including 2-3 with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback.

Mike Holmgren lost his first three games there as the Packers coach and finished 2-6. Ray Rhodes lost his only game there in 1999. Mike Sherman went 3-3.

“It’s one of the, for sure, one of the three or four loudest places [in the NFL],” Rodgers said. “Obviously, Kansas City and Seattle are very loud for outdoor environments. Detroit is a loud place. Atlanta is a loud place that we played in. It ranks right up there with those, if not more, especially when there’s a late third down in a tight game late in the fourth [quarter], it’s almost impossible to hear.”