The Vikings practiced on the new Sportexe turf in the Metrodome on Thursday in part to get a feel for the surface and also because the more activities that go on the quicker the field will become firm.

The installation of the turf was completed last week and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which runs the building, has gone to great length to make sure the turf is packed down for the Vikings' preseason opener on Saturday night against Seattle.

In fact, Bill Lester, the executive director of the MSFC, said Thursday night that in addition to rolling the surface on a daily basis there also have been eight marching bands brought in to basically stomp on the new turf as they practiced.

Lester said the Sportexe turf would be rolled again Friday for good measure.