Review of Vikings New US Bank Stadium
I was fortunate enough to go to the Minnesota Vikings first ever regular season game at the new US Bank Stadium on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. It was a fantastic experience to be a part of sports history and, of course, watch Aaron Rodgers get crushed over and over.
Overall, the stadium is awesome. Riding up on the Blue Line train I found myself looking in awe at how truly massive the Vikings new digs are. A handful of people were milling about at the foot of the north side and the building made them look like ants next to a car.
There is plenty to see and do outside. Crystal and I mooched the free samples of pizza and jerky at the grassy park west of the stadium. Bands were playing next to a pair of large screens showing other football games and the performances.
Finally the massive doors at the Legacy Gate began to turn, slower than Minnesota molasses in January I might add. We of course had to go through metal detectors but the security checkpoint was quick enough to not drive you crazy.
Walking into the building while daylight still shined was a trip. The bright skylight inside a massive indoor stadium is something your brain isn't used to seeing. That was really neat.
We walked all around the main concourse. This is really unnecessary. The concourse is almost exactly the same set of concession stands all the way around. There is very little to see. I will say that there is a fantastic brat and cheese curd rice bowl you can get on the east end of the building.
On the north end there was a massive support pillar right in the middle of the concourse. With the crush of people coming from the main west entrances, and a large contingent going the opposite direction with me, probably sight seeing as we were, a giant clog formed around the pillar. We stood for 10 minutes waiting for things to clear. The good thing about that, though, was that Fran Tarkenton walked right past me. That was cool!
The only complaint I have about the building is the narrow concourse on the main level. It isn't much wider than the Metrodome was, and feels much narrower than the main concourse at Target Field, a stadium that holds 27,000 fewer people. There is also a lack of food options compared to Twins ballpark.
When it comes to the reason you go to a Vikings game at US Bank Stadium, the football experience, it was fantastic. The speakers are as deafening as the crowd, the video screens are hilariously huge compared to the one tiny screen in the Metrodome. The pyro, the music, the Viking ship, even the new Skol chant (and the 17-14 victory) made for a great show.
Traditionally the Vikings touchdown celebration song was Song 2 by Blur. It was perfect. However as a tribute to the late Minnesota music legend, Let's Go Crazy by Prince is now the TD anthem. It doesn't have the same energy, but it too is great.