Vikings stadium design unveiled
- Blog Post by: Eric Roper
- May 13, 2013 - 8:30 PM
Updated at 8:18 p.m.
By Eric Roper and Richard Meryhew
Minneapolis political and business leaders gathered at the Guthrie Theater Monday night to witness the unveiling of designs for the new, $975 million Vikings stadium.
The Star Tribune is live streaming the event here.
At nearly a billion dollars, the new stadium will have giant pivoting glass doors that open to the downtown Minneapolis skyline and a roof that, while not retractable, will let in so much sunlight come Sunday afternoons, fans will feel as though they’re sitting outdoors.
Seven stadium decks will wrap around a field of artificial turf and two giant high tech scoreboards will sit at each endzone.
At 1.6 million square feet, the stadium will be nearly twice the size of the outdated Dome. It’ll seat 65,000 fans for NFL games but accommodate up to 73,000 for special events, such as the Super Bowl.
The skyline’s newest addition will be asymmetrical and almost diamond-like in its shape, featuring sharp angles and a roof line that rises to a peak on the west end, which doubles as the building’s grand entryway. From the side, the west end juts out, resembling the prow of a ship or a jagged iceberg.
Clear story windows will run around the the stadium walls just under the roof line, with the signature feature being a glass curtain wall on the stadium’s west end. Five, 95-foot-tall pivoting glass doors that open at concourse level will allow fans to enter and exit and socialize on a plaza — more than two acres in size — just outside the stadium before, during and after games.
Conspicuous by its absence is a retractable roof, a key feature that the team and authority pursued and one that many fans, longing for a return to outdoor football, wanted to see.
To compensate, and give fans a feeling that they are outdoors, architects created openings for natural light.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking ahead of the unveiling, emphasized the jobs that it would create.
"I'm just so excited about tonight because it makes this stadium one step closer to reality," Dayton said. "And it's closer to the time then when they're going to dig into the ground and thousands of Minnesotans are going to go to work building that stadium. And then operating it after it's started...This is first and foremost an economic development project."
He also praised stadium supporters on the Minneapolis City Council in the room for their "heroic effort that you made in the face of some I thought pretty unreasonable opposition."
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said the building would tie together different parts of the city.
"You've got one of the greatest downtowns in the world," Rybak said. "You have this amazing University. You have the riverfront. You have the riverfront, you have great neighborhoods. But they're all separated.
"It's like the Metrodome was a space ship that landed and everybody ran from the martians," he added. "So now we've got a space ship landing and everybody loves those wonderful martians from outer space."
Two hundred tickets to the event were made available on a first-come-first serve basis at the Metrodome on Monday.
Following the presentation, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority voted to send the designs to the city of Minneapolis, which has four months to review and sign off on them.
In her introductions, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michele Kelm-Helgen highlighted the non-NFL uses of the new stadium.
"What we're really building is a state of the art, indoor, statewide park of sorts that will be used by thousands of Minnesotans throughout the years," Kelm-Helgen said.
The Vikings posted a stadium fly-through just after Dayton's speech. Here are some screen grabs.
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