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“It’s the ‘wow’ factor,” said Mike Fox, stadium director for Lucas Oil. “If you have an open roof you might look up in the sky for a minute or two. But with a wall, we’ll have people standing there for 15 or 20 minutes looking at the skyline.”
The view at Cowboys Stadium is less spectacular.
But two massive hangar-like glass panel doors that slide open at concourse level two hours before kickoff impress in their own way.
Against the backdrop of one of the NFL’s largest stadiums, the end zone openings are “dramatic,” Riberich said. “It’s really striking as a fan to go through that huge opening.”
Both lead to indoor plazas where fans with standing-room tickets can gather and watch the action.
Large video screens just outside also draw fans before, during and after games.
When both the roof and side walls are open, “it really makes you feel like you are outside,” said Brett Daniels, a team spokesman.
Fox said that on game days, the Colts have had both roof and wall open, closed, one of each open, or both partly open depending on wind and weather.
“It just all boils down to creature comfort, meaning ‘How is this going to be for the fans and participants in the event?’ ” he said.
Whether Vikings fans will get to enjoy any of those options will be known shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, when HKS unveils its renderings at the Guthrie Theater.
The five-member Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is expected to approve the design that night, then forward it to the city of Minneapolis, which has up to four months to review and approve and issue building permits. Project groundbreaking is scheduled for October.
“Minnesotans like to be outdoors in the summer, but you don’t enjoy the day by taking the roof off the house,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “You go out on the porch and catch breezes. If there is a way to do that here without the incredible expense of a retractable roof, I think it’d be much better.”
Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425