Minnesota Vikings fans attending the first game at U.S. Bank Stadium should plan ahead, because the game has changed.
The Vikings play the Green Bay Packers (you may have heard?) at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. But you better add plenty of time before that prime-time kick off to get into your seats.
The location is familiar. The new stadium is on the site of the Metrodome, which was torn down in 2014. The building has played host to a sold-out soccer match, two concerts and two preseason games, but has yet to accommodate a house this full, packed with enthusiastic Vikings and Packers fans trying to get to their purple seats.
The main problem thus far with the stadium, according to various reactions, can be summed up in a word: Congestion. That’s been a concern both inside the stadium concourses and on the streets, parking ramps and rail cars outside.
With that warning, fans should plan their routes to the game, allow extra time to get there and arrive early. Vikings also are strongly encouraging fans to enter the gate designated on their ticket.
Here are things to know:
Tickets: Have your QR code or PDF barcode ready to be scanned. E-mail confirmations will not get anyone in the door.
Security: Everyone goes through metal detectors or is screened by hand-held wands.
What to download: The Vikings app for iPhones or Androids aims to help fans avoid headaches. Watch the tutorial before Sunday. The app will help fans get to their parking lot. Inside the stadium, the app can help find seats, restrooms and concessions.
Wi-fi: Free inside the stadium, called #USBANKSTADIUM.
Parking: Single-game parking passes are available for lots surrounding the stadium. There’s also a map to direct fans to one of four parking zones based on where they’re coming from.
Light rail: U.S. Bank Stadium Station is the drop-off point for the Blue and Green lines on the western side of the stadium. Metro Transit suggests purchasing an all-day pass for the same price as a roundtrip ticket to avoid standing in line to buy a return ticket after the game.
After the game, Metro Transit will also run “Blue Line buses” taking fans non-stop to three stops: Fort Snelling, 28th Avenue and Mall of America. The buses will leave from the northwest corner of the Medtronic Plaza at 4th Street and Chicago Avenue.
Southwest Transit: Fans can catch buses at the three transit hubs on Hwy 212: East Creek in Chaska, SouthWest Village in Chanhassen and SouthWest Station in Eden Prairie. Exact change of $5 is required. Kids 5 and under ride for free. Pickup times are available on the SWT website: www.transit.org.
Disability and Metro Mobility dropoff/pickup: 10th Avenue S. between South 6th and 7th streets.
Limo dropoff/pickup: The southbound lane of 10th Avenue South heading away from the stadium.
Taxi queue: Eastbound South 6th St between Park and Portland avenues. A second spot will be on northbound Park Avenue between south 6th and 5th streets.
Uber/Lyft shuttle bus: Both sides of 9th Ave. S.
Tailgating: Available through the Vikings in some 600 designated spots. Other spots may be available through private lots.
Partying outside: The Vikings Longhouse bar is the most visible new element. It's an aluminum and glass building, adjacent to The Miller Beer Garden. No tickets are needed for these party places. The beer garden will have live music. There will also be an alcohol-free space family zone nearby, with obstacle courses, face painting and more. This space will be between Portland and Park avenues.
Food inside: Efforts have been made to ensure a full-game supply of Revival’s fried chicken and the rotisserie lamb at Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen.