MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Next year at this time the Minnesota Vikings will be unveling their new stadium.
In recent weeks, it has started to take shape in downtown Minneapolis. We joined the Vikings point man, Lester Bagley, for a tour. U.S. Bank Stadium is on pace to be open next summer, ahead of the 2016 Vikings season.
There is a new kid on the block and it’s big. The majesty of the new Vikings stadium is in its size, but there is more to the blue print than a large foot print.
“Well it’s massive when you’re standing this close but when you’re on the freeway or in downtown Minneapolis this is going to be a signature element of our downtown skylines,” Bagley said. “It’s a beautiful building. When you look into the Viking tradition and the Scandinavian tradition and the Norsemen and how that all fits in, you’ll see some of elements of that.
There has to be a wow factor for the new stadium. It’s not just for fans, but it’s also a pitch to bring in free agents.
“It’s recruiting and it comes down to comfortability,” Bagley said.
What will make it unique for fans? Start with the suites, the field level suites.
“These are the turf suites, which are the closest suites to the action in the NFL,” Bagley said. “When the players come out onto the field for warm-ups, they’ll come out to the 50-yard line right by the fans. They’ll go right by clubs seats, suite holders and right onto the field.”
And they are working with the new technology. In other words, just bring a phone.
“We invested in the infrastructure of technology in the building to make sure that everybody can get on their phone if they want to,” Bagley said. “We’ll have a two-way communication with our fans if you’re interested on where to find a 2-for-1 hot dog deal.”
The roof will not allow sunlight to contribute to a sun burn. But it will give it a light, airy feel and create some noise.
“Sixty percent of that roof will be the clear material and then 40 percent will be the hard deck,” Bagley said. “It’ll provide natural light, prevent from the harmful rays but it will also make it a loud and intimate stadium.”
The idea is to make it intimate for fans, to feel on top of the game with conveniences and sight lines.
“The field runs east and west as opposed to north and south at the old Metrodome,” Bagley said.
The first seats are now in place. All 66,000-plus will be purple. And even the upper deck should be a comfortable vantage point on game day.
“There is not a bad seat. I’ve been up in the very top and looked down and there’s not a bad seat. Great views, great angles and great action,” Bagley said. “Again, a very intimate feel.”
Now they’re just looking to build a great team to go with the new stadium.