Vikings stadium design: Dog days are over. Darth days ahead?

  • Updated: May 18, 2013 - 4:18 PM

This handout released by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Minnesota Vikings shows the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in this rendering done by HKS Sports and Entertainment Group and released Monday, May 13, 2013. The yet-to-be-named facility, which will open in 2016 and replace the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis, will have a translucent roof and louvered front windows to let as much natural light in as possible. Construction will begin later this year. (AP Photo/HKS) ORG XMIT: MIN2013051416184570

Photo: HKS Sports and Entertainment Group via Associated Press,

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“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” So wrote Walt Whitman in “Song of Myself.” We on the Star Tribune Editorial Board are not beyond contradictions. Collectively, we believe in the long-term community value of the new Vikings stadium. Collectively, as expressed in our May 14 editorial, we’re struck by the stadium design that was unveiled last week. But as individuals, not all of us were struck in the best sense of the word.

The dissenters among us recognize that a design as prominent as this must take into account many factors — flexible uses, weather, the city’s architectural reputation — and that on these fronts, the proposal succeeds in many ways. But as with a Toyota Prius, sensible and contemporary though it may be, we can’t say we like how it looks. Illustrations of the new stadium remind us, frankly, of one of the lesser inventions of “Star Wars.” (We don’t have rights to the image, but Google “sandcrawler.”) Or — a lesson we’ve learned the hard way — of how easily shards of glass can open a wound.

So, fellow armchair architects, what do you think of the design, really? We invite you to weigh in by appending a comment to this item at or by sending a letter to If you like the design, great! But if you don’t, there’s no better time to say so, while various approvals are still pending. After all, one way or another, you’re paying for it.

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