As part of the U.S. Bank’s Vikings Biggest Fan contest, I joined 100 lucky fans for the experience of a lifetime yesterday — touring U.S. Bank Stadium and attending Vikings Training Camp in Mankato, Minnesota. Below, I’ll give my impressions of the day and my takeaways from a blustery day of padded practice. Enjoy!
As I stood at the fence outside of U.S. Bank Stadium, I couldn’t help but marvel at the Vikings’ future home. I’d seen pictures of the building, but a picture doesn’t capture the sheer size of the stadium on Bud Grant Way. On my last trip to Minnesota, I visited the Metrodome, and my 10-year-old self left disappointed by the concrete husk of dome. This time, things were much different.
I strapped on my bright yellow vest, buckled my purple hard hat — reminiscent of the Vikings’ current helmets — and pulled my gloves on before stepping through a narrow passage into the stadium. We were the first 100 fans to ever take a tour, and we didn’t care that we looked ridiculous in our fluorescent construction gear.