The late Minnesota music legend Prince was in talks to perform at U.S. Bank Stadium, which opens Aug. 3, before he died unexpectedly last month.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said Tuesday that he and a few team executives had an impromptu dinner with Prince at Paisley Park in 2009 and that “at that time, he told us about his passion for the Vikings.”
Since then, team executives had reached out to Prince, saying that opening the stadium would present an opportunity for him to play in his hometown.
“It would have been a perfect, natural way to open the building,” Bagley said, adding, “We share a lot: Minnesota, purple.”
Bagley said it was his “understanding” that the date under consideration was Aug. 13, which would have made it the first music concert in the new stadium.
“We know from hearing directly from him that he loved the Vikings and wanted to play in the building,” Bagley said.
Prince, who performed at the NFL Super Bowl halftime in 2007, was overdue for a big show here. His last was at Target Center on July 7, 2007 (7/7/07). Since then, he had performed at local clubs, such as at Myth, the Dakota and, of course, at his Chanhassen home and studio, Paisley Park. He also played arenas all over the world during that time.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority downplayed Bagley’s comments in a statement issued Tuesday.
“We can confirm that U.S. Bank Stadium had preliminary discussions with Prince’s people about a concert in the new stadium. The discussions only surrounded his interest in performing at the stadium. No other details were discussed,” the statement said.
With the Super Bowl coming to Minneapolis in 2018, there was also speculation about whether Prince would have a role in the game or events leading up to it.
Super Bowl Host Committee spokeswoman Andrea Mokros said, “Since his Super Bowl performance was legendary, he was of course at the top of every list we brainstormed, but that’s as far as it went.”
Prince was found dead April 21 at Paisley Park. He was 57.
Country singer Luke Bryan is scheduled to be the first performer to appear in concert at the new stadium on Aug. 19.
Staff writer Chris Riemenschneider contributed to this report.