MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings have a new home.

For some players, Thursday was their first day to get a look at the $1 billion stadium.

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Guard Alex Boone opened a stadium for the 49ers before coming to Minnesota. He says U.S. Bank Stadium blows Levi’s Stadium “out of the water.”

“When you talk about football experiences, this is going to be one of the best,” he said.

For the last few years, the Vikings were playing at TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the Golden Gophers.

It didn’t exactly feel like an NFL-caliber arena.

“I think [U.S. Bank Stadium] really feels like home,” said receiver Adam Thielen. “When you have the U of M logo everywhere, it doesn’t quite feel like home.”

One thing Vikings players say they like about their new digs is the intimacy.

“When we come out to the field, we walk through a restaurant, we walk by all the season ticket holders,” said tackle Sharrif Floyd. “I think [the stadium] is well-built and extremely beautiful, inside and out.”

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The primary tenant for the stadium will be the Vikings, of course, but there’ll be others as well.

The X Games were just announced to be held in Minneapolis for the two coming summers, and Vikings officials say the stadium will hold professional soccer matches, motocross, and University of Minnesota baseball.

Apart from sports, the stadium will also hold concerts.

“It’s going to be so spectacular, because it’s state-of-the-art,” said Bob Lurtsema, who played two Super Bowls with the Vikings. “I think that’s how they got a Super Bowl so fast.”

Mark Wilf, whose family owns the stadium, says he wants to see a smile on the face of everyone who steps inside.

“When they come in here, they are going to feel like they’re outdoors,” he said. “We want them to feel happy and good, and we want to have a winning team on the field so when they leave here they have a smile on their face, too.”

Vikings games are sold out for the season, but one suite in the stadium is still available.

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It costs $150,000 a year.

Mike Max