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Its future had been in doubt as recently as mid-September, but the Bubble is back at Rochester Community and Technical College.

It's a right of passage here in the Med City that's almost as reliable as the leaves turning color in the fall: The sports bubble at Rochester Regional Stadium is brought out of storage and is inflated over the football field on the RCTC campus in southeast Rochester.

If you're not familiar with the Sports Bubble at RCTC, their website describes it like this: "The Rochester Regional Stadium & Bubble, constructed on the campus of Rochester Community & Technical College, features a full-size turf football/soccer field. Thanks to a temporary dome that covers the field during the winter months, the venue is available for use year-round! The venue is often utilized by local sports organizations to host practices and camps, but is available for anyone who wishes to use it for their event."

But, as with just about everything else, it seems, that familiar, puffy-looking dome that magically appears off Collegeview Road and County Road 22 in the fall almost DIDN'T get inflated this year. Why? Because 2020, that's why.

Actually, it wasn't inflating the Bubble that was the question. It was more the deflating it last spring that was the issue. The Post Bulletin reported back in September that the RCTC Sports Bubble, which is usually inflated in the fall and then removed in the spring, was never removed this year-- thanks, of course, to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The PB noted that the company that usually removed and stores the massive bubble wasn't up to the task this year, mainly because taking down the structure is no small task and usually involves a team of nearly 60 people.

So, the dome just sat there, all deflated and sad, and covering the football field all spring and summer.  But now, though it's looking a little dingy, worn and dirty, the bubble is back, baby! I'm not sure when it was inflated (it wasn't yet when I dropped off my absentee ballot at the Olmsted County Elections Office in mid-October), but while running some errands earlier this week, I noticed it, proudly sitting there (though kinda stained and dirty-looking), in all its inflatable glory.

Of course, all this comes as cases of the coronavirus are skyrocketing here in Minnesota, and being inside with a group of people is something we're told to avoid. Oh well, at least the Bubble is back. The question now, though, is will it get put away next spring?

The RCTC Sports Bubble might be one identifiable feature of Minnesota's Med City, but it's not the only one, though. Keep scrolling to see if you can identify these OTHER well-known Rochester locations-- from above!

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