Neighbors shared mixed reviews on the new Vikings stadium design, but welcomed its neighborhood impact.
From the moment the first images of the new Vikings stadium flashed across the big screen at the Guthrie Theater on Monday, Dean Jacobson liked what he saw.
The pivoting glass doors. The see-through ceiling. The angled roof line that peaks to the west. The ship-like profile and jagged prow against the backdrop of a majestic downtown skyline.
It was more than the 72-year-old Elliot Park resident thought he’d see in the design of a stadium destined to replace the bland and bloated Metrodome.
“It’s just spectacular,” said Jacobson, who can see the Dome’s pillowlike top from his living room window seven blocks away. “I think this one will be here 100 years from now. It’s going to be a classic piece of great architecture for this era.”
In the week that has passed since the first renderings of the nearly billion-dollar stadium were unveiled, second-guessers have pounced and praised. Some think it’s too bulky, too gaudy and too futuristic. Others applaud the bold, glassy look of a design that, from most angles, appears more like a ship than a professional football stadium.
Yet for all the feedback, pro and con, it’s in the neighborhoods closest to the stadium where the design might matter most. It’s there, on the streets of Elliot Park south of the Dome to the Mill District that lines the banks of the Mississippi River, where residents, merchants and workers must live with the massive new NFL venue long after the fourth quarter ends.
Amid last week’s glitz and hype, reviews were mixed.
While Jacobson, a semiretired accountant, saw “a big diamond” on the skyline, Heather Dalzen, manager at the Band Box Diner in Elliot Park, saw something that’s “pretty Space Age.”
David Tinjum, who lives in a condominium near the Guthrie and has a balcony view of the Dome and the new stadium site, said the design evokes images of “icebergs and Vikings ships.” He said he liked what he has seen so far, but wants more details before judging.
At 1.6 million square feet, the new stadium will dominate downtown’s east end and dwarf the eyesore it replaces, weighing in at nearly twice the size and standing 100 feet taller.
Fans will enter at one of four major entrances, with the grand gateway featuring five 95-foot-high pivoting glass doors that face downtown.
The building’s facade will be made up of a mix of glazed glass curtain wall and metal panels that change tone in sunlight. Its roof will be one-half hard decking, with the remainder covered by ETFE, a transparent polymer that was used to cover the outside of the Beijing National Aquatics Center, also known as the “Water Cube,” site of the 2008 Olympic swimming competition.
Millie Schafer, an Elliot Park homeowner for the past 40 years, called it a “beautiful building,” but added that she wonders how “those big glass doors” will hold up over time.
She also questioned the durability of the ETFE, a material that has been used extensively in sports venues in other countries, but not in the U.S.
“I kind of wonder how proven that roof material is,” said Schafer, who has watched the Teflon top of the Metrodome collapse several times over 30 years.
Judy Borger, a Mill District resident who is a member of the city’s stadium implementation committee, which must review and approve the design before it goes to planners and, ultimately, the City Council, wondered at a recent meeting whether fans sitting under the transparent portion of the roof will get too hot from sunlight.
That said, she was pleased that HKS Inc., the project architect, chose a fixed roof over a retractable one, because it allows the team and stadium authority to spend more on other stadium features.
“It’s growing on me,” she said of the design. “As I sit and listen to the logic behind the decisions that were made, they seem reasonable to me.”
|New England||2/1/15 5:30 PM|
|Denver||47||3rd Qtr 3:34|
|Montreal||0||3rd Prd 4:31|
|Winnipeg||2||3rd Prd 12:58|
|Arizona||1||3rd Prd 16:45|
|Dallas||3||3rd Prd 19:09|
|Detroit||1||3rd Prd 19:26|
|Columbus||2||3rd Prd 13:34|
|Nashville||2||2nd Prd 6:39|
|Minnesota||1||1st Prd 5:43|
|East Tenn St||55||FINAL|
|Central Conn St||55||FINAL|
|Mount St Marys||67||FINAL|
|Coll of Charleston||70||FINAL|
|Fla Gulf Coast||78|
|Jacksonville St||56||2nd Half 7:27|
|Connecticut||35||2nd Half 11:24|
|Rider||37||2nd Half 9:40|
|SIU Edwardsville||59||2nd Half 5:12|
|SE Missouri St||51|
|Marshall||62||2nd Half 4:26|
|Tenn Tech||47||2nd Half 3:10|
|Middle Tennessee||52||2nd Half 8:33|
|Ill-Chicago||47||2nd Half 9:19|
|Weber State||54||2nd Half 5:44|
|Denver||39||2nd Half 7:43|
|North Dakota St||38|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||64||2nd Half 3:58|
|Louisiana||60||2nd Half 8:03|
|Ark-Little Rock||37||2nd Half 19:43|
|Georgia State||34||2nd Half|
|Portland||19||1st Half 5:04|
|Kentucky||16||1st Half 8:00|
|Eastern Ky||15||1st Half 7:23|
|UAB||25||1st Half 5:50|
|Idaho State||29||1st Half 7:17|
|UMKC||15||1st Half 8:56|
|Chicago State||14||1st Half 9:58|
|Utah Valley U||19|
|Colorado||3||1st Half 19:01|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|Long Beach State||9:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Loyola Marymount||9:30 PM|
|San Francisco||10:00 PM|
|William & Mary||67|
|(1) South Carolina||85|
|(4) Notre Dame||74||FINAL|
|Sam Houston St||68|
|Fla Gulf Coast||71||FINAL|
|Vanderbilt||31||2nd Half 9:28|
|(18) Miss State||44|
|IUPUI||48||2nd Half 5:37|
|Abilene Christian||38||2nd Half 8:24|
|Incarnate Word||47||2nd Half 3:42|
|McNeese State||64||2nd Half 4:02|
|Oral Roberts||34||2nd Half 7:39|
|South Dakota St||61|
|Louisiana Tech||51||2nd Half 7:45|
|TX-San Antonio||37||2nd Half 7:56|
|Texas-El Paso||40||2nd Half 4:19|
|Auburn||35||2nd Half 8:05|
|Grand Canyon||48||2nd Half 8:26|
|Illinois||51||2nd Half 8:31|
|(20) Iowa||80||2nd Half 7:48|
|Utah Valley U||46||2nd Half 6:50|
|Green Bay||59||2nd Half 7:18|
|Ole Miss||6||1st Half 10:21|
|Portland State||8||1st Half 7:54|
|Sacramento St||19||1st Half 8:38|
|North Dakota||11||1st Half 7:57|
|Ohio State||29||1st Half 6:38|
|Northern Colorado||19||1st Half 7:17|
|St Marys-CA||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|San Diego||9:00 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||10:59 PM|
Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?