By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sunday’s game gave Vikings fans their first home tailgating experience of the season.

Bags, barbecue, and beer: It’s the start of what these fans have been waiting for– for months.

“There’s 11 days of the year that I look forward to,” fan Kurt Urban said. “One is the NFL draft and then the 10 home games that we have.”

Urban has been tailgating as a Vikings season ticket holder for more than two decades. He was once named the Vikings Fan Of The Year. He’s now got his son involved in the tailgating tradition, too.

“This is my vacation– my trips, my cruises, whatever,” Urban said. “This is what I do, and I’m hoping to pass this on to him.”

The only expectation for the first home tailgating experience of the year is to grab a plate and have fun.

“You’re just hanging out with friends, strangers– making friends, having a good time before the game actually even starts,” Urban’s son Joshua said.

But expectations for the season are a bit higher. Vikings fans were anxious to see how the rookies fare and to watch Kirk Cousins in his second year with the team.

“He better do well. We’re hoping for that,” one fan said.

Still, Vikings fans are optimistic. It’s a new season of opportunity.

“We’re going to win this year, I think,” a fan said.

“We’re pumped up and ready to go,” another fan said.

The Vikings next preseason game will also be here at home at the U.S. Bank Stadium. The regular season game will start on Sept. 8.

Kate Raddatz