MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In just two days, the Minnesota Vikings officially kick off the season in their brand new stadium.
The Vikings will host the Green Bay Packers Sunday night for their home opener.
Vikings fans are already beginning their pregame preparations well before the actual matchup.
The official fan store, The Vikings Locker Room, saw a steady stream of customers at their new location inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
For fans, dressing the part is a priority, especially before a border battle.
“The game, home opener, very excited,” said Vikings fan Bobby Moore. “I’m getting a new Vikings jacket that I don’t own yet, new pair of basketball shorts.”
“I really couldn’t explain how excited I am. I have great seats, fourth from the field,” said Vikings fan Amanda Baxter.
Sunday afternoon that force of purple and gold will come together in a game day ritual.
“We play a lot of music and we dance. We just enjoy everyone that’s all there for Vikings and have a good time,” said Erin Darsow, a Vikings fan.
Darsow has a space in one of the new tailgating lots around U.S. Bank Stadium. The pregame festivities have been a long standing football tradition for Darsow and her friends.
“In our new lot, it’s different but it’s actually pretty nice. We’re in the kickoff lot which is a long skinny lot,” she said.
But she has noticed fewer options in the availability of pregame parking lots.
“I have heard a bit of that but most of my friends who didn’t get into the lots, they park elsewhere and they just walk and they meet us,” Darsow said. “I personally think it’s going great.”
During the Metrodome days, the Vikings had well over 1,600 spaces to tailgate.
The larger footprint of the new stadium cut the availability to 1,000 spaces.
Yet ask Darsow and she thinks a change in the tailgating layout is a small price to pay for a new season in a brand new stadium.
“Everyone is just happy that we have a place to be,” she said.
The Vikings have leasing rights over 700 of the 1,000 spaces.
According to a Vikings spokesperson, the team still has tailgating spaces available.
Also, while there’s a loss in parking lots, there’s the addition of a commons area and Vikings long house to add to the game day experience.