Vikings Fans Share Their Opening Night Experience

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Sunday night could not have gone any better for the Minnesota Vikings during their win over the hated Green Bay Packers. The Vikings played their very first regular season game in front of a record crowd of 66,813 screaming Minnesota fans.

But exactly how loud was it Sunday? How did it compare to the Vikings’ old home at the Metrodome? Luckily, a few people who attended Minnesota’s Week 2 victory have taken some time to provide answers to those questions and much more about their experience last weekend.

Q: Just exactly how loud was it? Loudest sports event you’ve ever been? Louder than a Vikings game at the Metrodome if you’ve been?

Bob Brown

Osseo, MN (Section 310):

It was quite loud. It definitely was the loudest sporting event I’ve ever attended. I’m almost certain it was louder than the Dome.

My friend told me the stadium was designed to funnel noise to the visitors sideline, so I cannot imagine how much louder it was for Green Bay.

Nate Denny

Plano, TX (Section 122:

It was louder then i expected. By far the loudest sports even I’ve been too in a long time!

When the Vikings were on defense my ears were ringing. Two days later they are still ringing! I think it was louder than my experiences at the Metrodome.

Todd Dubish

Hopkins, MN (Section 103):

Stadium was very very loud! Loudest game I have ever been to. Loudest game before was Vikings Cowboys playoff game in 2009 at the Metrodome.

“The loudest sporting event I have been to for sure.”

Matt Frazer

Des Moines, Iowa (300 level):

It was extremely loud! There were times when we were standing up after a big play and the volume of sound made you feel a little dizzy. I have only been to one game at the Metrodome when the Vikings were having a crappy season, so it would not be a fair comparison because of the crowd size.

I would say it would have to have been the loudest sporting event I have been to for sure. It was awesome!

Thomas Minske

West Fargo, ND (Section 142):

The noise created by the crowd was insane! Ears and headache started immediately following first forced fumble, followed by the return of possession to Green Bay. From the boos for the refs on the pass interference call on Waynes to put Green Bay in the red zone, and all the way up to the final throw from Bradford to end the game.

I have attended two other games at the Metrodome, the feel of this game was unlike any other. You knew going into this game that it was going to be a tough and hard played game. One that the Vikings needed to win to show the NFL that this team is still a contender this year and a team deserving of playoff talk.

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BJ Reidell

Bismarck, ND (Section 116):

It was very, very loud. I can understand why Alex Boone was not happy about the noise when the Vikings were on offense.

At certain points, the stadium was right on par with the Metrodome, but I think there will have to be a playoff game at U.S. Bank before we can truly judge which location is louder.

Ryan Rhody

St. Paul, MN (300 level):

It was definitely loud, but I have been to a few Vikings games at the Metrodome that were louder. The 2009 season vs. Dallas in the playoffs and 2012 vs. Green Bay (Adrian Peterson’s 2,000 yard game).

“The feel of this game was unlike any other.”     

Megan Tamke

Minneapolis, MN (Section 308):

Loudest Vikings game I have ever been too. I had season tickets in the Metrodome as well and this was louder. It would challenge a Twins playoff game I attended in the Metrodome.

Brady Torgerson

Beulah, ND (Section 118):

Sunday night was louder than I can ever remember it ever being in the Dome and it was the loudest game I have been to at any venue. Especially when looking at it from start to finish.

The atmosphere was electric and did not seem to let up at all. I watched the recorded game when I got home and it seemed extremely loud on the NBC broadcast as well. I have not seen an exact decibel level, but it was LOUD.

Nikki Twedt

St. Joseph, MN (Section 340):

Second loudest game I’ve been at, first being the Cowboys game in the Metrodome.

Q: How much of a factor do you think the crowd noise played in beating the Packers?

Brown: The crowd noise certainly took away Rodgers’ ability to use the hard count as much as he would have liked. That was an advantage for Minnesota because as much as I love the guy, Everson Griffen is jumpy versus that hard count.

Denny: I think it helped for sure! Having a home field advantage always helps.

Dubish: The crowd played a huge factor! But definitely need to quiet down when the Minnesota offense is on the field.

“I had difficulty hearing the person two seats from me, so I could not imagine being in the huddle.”

Frazer: I think it affected both sides of the ball. After the first defensive snap when they fumbled the ball, you knew it was going to be one of those games. I think that pumped the crowd up even more.

Rodgers is known for running these quick huddle plays and calling audibles at the line. I am sure the crowd noise made that more difficult to do. I re-watched the game at home just to see it on TV, and you could tell the difference of the crowd volume compared to just an average outdoor game.

Minske: The noise was definitely a contributing factor for our defense and it showed on Rodgers. They would show him on the screens and you could see the frustration on his face.

I do believe the crowd can get the adrenaline going for the players on key plays and situations.

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Reidell: As with any home game, crowd noise definitely played some role in the outcome. But, based on what Alex Boone and Sam Bradford said after the game, the Vikings seemed to be hindered by it as well.

The atmosphere was undeniably electric, which I imagine played a bigger role in the win than the decibel level itself.

Rhody: I believe the crowd noise helps a lot. But if remember right, Green Bay did not have any false starts.

I was also pretty disappointed with the crowd noise while we were on offense. It should be quiet as ever but at times it was decently loud.

“The atmosphere was undeniably electric.”

Tamke: I think it played a huge role in the win! You could obviously see that Aaron Rodgers was rattled by the noise and it seemed to cause pure confusion at times!

Torgerson: Just ask Alex Boone if it played a factor. All jokes aside, I think it always plays a little bit of a factor when it starts disrupting communication.

It especially comes into play when the Vikings are playing against someone of Rodgers’ caliber and the things he is able to do pre-snap. Having to deal with the noise will ultimately limit some of those adjustments he is able to make.

Twedt: I think the noise was definitely a factor. I had difficulty hearing the person two seats from me so I could not imagine being in the huddle.

Q: How was the Viking chant in person. Heard they did it multiple times, did it get better? Worse?

Brown: It was okay. The crowd’s energy and understanding of it definitely picked up towards the end of the game. I think it enhanced in the final chant.

Denny: I thought the chant was fantastic! They did it about three times.

The first time Fran Tarkenton screwed it up and did not let it go long enough. The last chant was a lot better and everyone was doing the SKOL chant after the game.

Loved it!

Dubish: The Vikings chant was awesome!! It got better in the fourth quarter.

“You could feel the hair stand up on the back of your neck and see the goosebumps rise on your arms.”

Frazer: I wasn’t too impressed with it at first. Plus there is not a lot of room for everyone to put their arms above their heads without elbowing each other.

I heard they were going to have the soccer team from Iceland there to help get it going, which would have been pretty cool. And they gave up on it too soon the first time. It got better as the game went on once the SKOL Line got involved.

I like the idea and I think it will get better over time. So much better than the “Go Pack, Go!” chant.

Minske: The Viking war chant was a work in progress that people got the hang of by the third quarter. Once the crowd got it down, you could feel the hair stand up on the back of your neck and see the goosebumps rise on your arms.

The energy it brought to the crowd was electrifying.

Reidell: I personally was not a huge fan of the chant, but I assume it will grow on me and everyone else.

Rhody: I am one that loved the idea of the chant. The first time they tried it, it was embarrassingly bad. People clapping too early and what not.

Once the SKOL Line took over and did it late in the game, it was awesome and loud.

“So much better than the “Go Pack, Go!” chant”

Tamke: The first time we did it, it seemed a little rough as people were trying to learn it. The second time we did it, people had caught on.

This is going to be an awesome addition to the game time entertainment!

Torgerson: I watched all the hype videos leading up to it and was really excited about the Vikings war chant. I hate to throw Vikings Royalty under the bus, but Fran Tarkenton botched it the first time.

All the people that had not seen it done before followed his lead and clapped along with the drum. So it was pretty sloppy to start but it did finish strong.

They tried it a few other times throughout the night and it got better with each time. My favorite time was in the second half when the Packers offense was pinned inside their own 20. Both teams were standing on the field during a timeout and they started the war chant up.

It almost seemed like the players on the field were looking around a little bit taking it in as well. I think it will be a great tradition going forward.

Twedt: The new Vikings chant was adapted pretty easily. As the night went on people knew what to expect and how to follow along.

Q: How amazing was the Prince tribute at half time?

Brown: It was pretty damn incredible. I am biased because I have loved his music for decades. If there was anyone in the building who did not enjoy it they are probably not a fan of music.

The collaboration between the Minnesota Orchestra and The New Power Generation was fantastic, and the images on the field screen were pretty visible from the 300 level.

Denny: It was pretty awesome! The whole place was lit up and everyone was singing along.

Dubish: I did not watch the Prince tribute, I went to charge my phone at the Verizon stand.

“I am one that usually likes to walk around at halftime, but on Sunday I never moved..”

Frazer: It was pretty sweet! So much better than your typical halftime show. The first half of the show (before the Prince tribute) was interesting.

Our angle where we were sitting at did not give us the best view of the field. The cell phone lights and the glitter (sparkles) coming down were a cool effect, and definitely enhanced the experience.

Minske: The tribute was executed nicely and the orchestra had a great sound. The video display was not great due to the display running vertical of sidelines and the video boards were dimmed.

Reidell: Outstanding. Attempting to describe it with words is a lost cause.

Rhody: I am one that usually likes to walk around at halftime, but on Sunday I never moved. The halftime show was Super Bowl worthy.

Obviously for the Super Bowl it would be a little bigger with special guests, but they did an amazing job!

“If there was anyone in the building who did not enjoy it they are probably not a fan of music.”

Tamke: The halftime show was the best I had ever seen. The music was amazing and the mapping on the field added to the music. The Prince tribute was perfect for opening night.

Everyone stayed in their seats and were involved. The lights were turned out, only purple glowed everywhere for awhile until people started using their cellphones as lights. Looked like little stars everywhere.

The best part was maybe unseen by most. In the corner where I was seated, firefighters were up in the catwalks and were releasing mini blinking blue and white lights attached to paper that acted like helicopters. The lights fell to us and looked like rain falling all while in the background the song “Purple Rain” was sung by the crowd.

Amazing all around!!

Torgerson: As a fan of Prince it was really a special moment and it was great that they were able to get The New Power Generation to play with the Minnesota Orchestra.

I have never had the opportunity to see Prince live, so this was as good as it will ever get for me. Very, very special moment.

Twedt: The halftime performance was tremendous. Videos do not do it justice.

I was still talking about it Tuesday morning with co-workers. The Vikings went above and beyond to make the entire game experience tremendous.

Q: If you have been to a game at the Metrodome, how different was your experience on Sunday?

Brown: It is still crowded in the concourses, but not as bad as the Dome. The bathroom lines moved along nicely, and I did not think the wait for food and drink was too bad. I think the bartenders could move with more urgency, but hey, it is their tip.

The biggest difference between Sunday’s Packers game versus the Dome? I did not see one fight. 

Denny: Just between the view of the city, the facility overall and the fireworks and lights in the stadium. To have a new home that is so nice and to not have the worst stadium anymore is definitely something Vikings fans can be proud of!

Dubish: I have been to a lot of games at the Metrodome and I was shocked when I walked into U.S. Bank Stadium. 100 percent nicer!

“U.S. Bank Stadium is the best there is right now.”

Frazer: You felt more into the game. The lighting, the sounds, the comfort of the seats, the rivalry with the Packers. The entire experience made you walk away feeling like you were part of something special.

With the cost of the tickets, you definitely felt satisfied in the end. It also made you want to add to the experience next time around with either better seats or paying a little extra for tickets to the players entrance on the field.

One thing I was really looking forward to that they did not do, was cut the lights whenever the Vikings scored like they did in the preseason. Not sure if they will bring that back for other games, but I really wanted to see that.

Minske: I have attended two other games at the Metrodome. From watching the “Opening of the Gates” to the final seconds of the game, this day was and will be unlike any other.

The best part was how few Packers fans were actually in attendance. You rarely heard the chants of “Go Pack, Go” and when you did they sounded as a whisper.

Fans and Packers’ players were reminded that this is not their stadium, this is not treated as a home game for them, and the voices of the Viking fans will always be a factor for their opponents.

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Reidell: The seats were considerably more comfortable. There did not appear to be a bad seat in the house. The fireworks and other extra-curricular stuff were consistent adrenaline boosters.

The stadium itself is breathtaking (as opposed to being a bit of an eye sore). Leaving the building was far less of a hassle. The jumbotrons are much more conveniently positioned.

The food was good (but also ridiculously expensive — $17 for a [small] bucket of mega cheese curds?!). Walking down the stairs to find your seat is not a life-or-death experience anymore and the Vikings are on pace to never lose at U.S. Bank.

Rhody: I think the biggest difference for me was the overall production once you were in the stadium. They really made it feel like it was a playoff game.

“The entire experience made you walk away feeling like you were part of something special.”

From everything they showed on the screens between plays to the lights and small fireworks. Similar to driving a 1980 Ford for 30 plus years and then getting a brand new 2016 Bentley GT.

Tamke: Experience was a total upgrade all around. The concourses still feel a bit small. The only complaint would be that the food lines run into the concourse and cause backups.

Prices are insane as well.

Torgerson: It is not even a comparison. Everything that they did was top of the line. The view from our seats is amazing.

Having the downtown skyline and the larger of the two screens in our sight line is great. Having the EFTFE and the large glass doors bring in a lot of natural light so it doesn’t feel like a basement like the Metrodome did.

The concourses provide ample room to move around; there are times of congestion but I don’t know if that could ever be fully avoided with that many people in one place.

I was lucky enough to watch the Vikings play in Dallas a few years ago and was impressed with AT&T Stadium. I am obviously biased, but U.S. Bank Stadium is the best there is right now.

I do not think it is even close.

Twedt: I was a season ticket holder at the Dome as well. The experience here supersedes the Dome. 

WiFi is fantastic, bathroom lines are non-existent, corridors are wider, the atmosphere is electrical, the architecture of the building leaves you an awe. The evenings skyline with the doors open was amazing.

The only thing I would like to see improved is putting the downs and yardage on the larger scoreboards.