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Tornado rips roof off Billing arena; damage is extensive

A tornado ripped the roof off Billings’ Rimrock Auto Arena Sunday, causing millions of dollars in damage and impacting next weekend’s playoff game for the IFL’s Billings Outlaws; officials will decide whether to inspect or demolish 35-year-old facility. UPDATE: We have a photo. It’s not pretty.

Rimrock Auto Arena is located in the MetraPark fairgrounds site on the east side of town. It seats 12,000 and is home to the Outlaws as well as numerous concerts and other events. The Outlaws were slated to host a playoff game there next Sunday, but the fate of that game remains uncertain. The game will certainly need to be played elsewhere; the damage to the arena was so extensive that demolition of the facility is a possibility.

The city and Yellowstone County declared a state of emergency Sunday night, with the Montana National Guard providing security in the area.

(Click on the image to the right to view a picture taken in the arena after the tornado.)

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