Vikings fans across the state, and football fans across the country got a look at the soon to be newest stadium in the National Football League. HKS, the team of architects behind the design of the new chic stadium, unveiled their plans for the building last week.
To the surprise of almost no one, the stadium is not an outdoor park like many die-hard enthusiasts had hoped. Many long time Vikings fans who remember freezing in the seats of Metropolitan Stadium wanted to relive those experiences in a new venue. But the Vikings management has a lot bigger plans for the stadium than just simply exhibiting Vikings football games. In the future, this yet to be named stadium will play host to gigantic concerts, amateaur and college baseball, NCAA March Madness basketball games, and hopefully, a Super Bowl. All of these events were considered when designing this indoor stadium.
The stadium is supposed to cost around a billion dollars to finish. From the look and sheer size of the venue, it’s not hard to imagine why. The open concept seems to have twice the space as the Metrodome, a look only enhanced by all the glass and see-through surfaces. The new stadium showcases a half transparent roof, constructed not of glass, but of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a clear plastic material that functions even better than glass. This surface diffuses light preventing the stadium and playing surface from being littered with shadows and point blank sunlight. This rooftop will be the biggest ETFE surface in the world. This design feature is meant to give the appearance and feeling of an outdoor stadium without having to sit in the elements of a Minnesota winter.
The design also incorporates a huge window display to the west side of the stadium so fans can always have a clear view of downtown Minneapolis. On each end zone side of the stadium, there will be gigantic, state of the art, electronic scoreboards that will present the action on the field in real time. This stadium design also is said to have seats and suites closer to the field than any other NFL stadium, a design aspect meant to enhance fan experience.
With this new stadium being erected on the same plot that the Metrodome now stands, the Vikings will need to play their home games elsewhere as the dated Metrodome is torn down and the new stadium is constructed. The Vikings have signed a contract with the the University of Minnesota to play their home games at TCF Bank Stadium located on the college campus. Certain renovations need to be put into effect to make TCF Bank Stadium NFL-ready, changes that will be announced later and fully funded by the Vikings.
Before the Vikings call TCF Bank Stadium their home for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, they will play out the final season ever in the Metrodome. Many fans will have a hard time saying goodbye to the domed stadium that has housed many memories, from Twins, to Gophers, to Vikings sports moments. But with this new design revealed, many of the detractors have been won over with this gorgeous new stadium. One thing's for sure, the 2016 NFL season cannot get here soon enough. In the meantime, fans have to hope Mark Dayton and his flawed plans to fund the stadium do not continue and possibly sidetrack this facility from coming to fruition.
To get a better sense of the new stadium and its space, check out this video that flies you through the new venue.