With a full afternoon of festivities planned before their season opener against the New Orleans Saints — and the possibility of gameday traffic intersecting with commuters exiting downtown — the Vikings are telling fans to arrive well before Monday's 6 p.m. kickoff.
The centerpiece of the pregame activities comes at 5:45, when the Vikings will debut a feature video honoring Randy Moss before the former Vikings receiver is inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime. Moss, who will analyze the game in his role as part of ESPN's "Monday Night Countdown" pregame show, will also blow the Gjallarhorn for the second time at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings also will observe the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, with World Trade Center first responder Daniel Rodriguez performing the national anthem and a B-52 flyover concluding the ceremony.
The team has activities planned around the stadium as early as 1 p.m., when it will hold a free celebration for fans with or without game tickets at the Commons Park on the west side of the stadium. The party will be highlighted by a free concert headlined by Hippo Campus and also featuring Alex Rossi, GB Leighton and Jesse Larson from Season 12 of NBC's "The Voice."
When the Vikings honor Moss at halftime, owners Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf will present the wide receiver with his Ring of Honor ring and unveil his name in the permanent display at U.S. Bank Stadium. Moss will become the 22nd member of the group.
Monday's kickoff time is 90 minutes earlier than the NFL's typical Monday night start, with the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers following.