No city has inverted their stadium ranking as much as Minneapolis. Sure, logic dictates that before a new stadium is built, there has to be a reason and that reason usually is that the previous stadium is deficient in some way… But, when you look at the Metrodome vs. its two replacements in Target Field and US Bank Stadium, and it isn’t hard to see what I mean.
When you toss Dinkytown’s TCF Bank Stadium into the mix? It’s as if some bloated carp somehow exploded and gave birth to three gorgeous solid gold … What’s an attractive fish? Salmon?
Where’s Troy McClure when you need him?
Many of us in Minnesotan have long had stadium related insecurities (and for the ling suffering Twins fans, permanent neck injuries from needing to turn our heads for nine innings if we wanted to watch people actually bat), so when our latest new stadium opened in US Bank, we rejoiced and immediately thought we had the best stadium in the league.
But considering that our only other point of reference locally was a dome that committed suicide because it was inflated by the river of urine from its collective urinal troughs, deep down we most likely felt that, yeah, US Bank is great… But, is it better than Jerryworld near Dallas? What about some of the more historic stadiums like Lambeau?
Well, its time we start strutting in style because its now official that the Vikings play in the best stadium in the league!
Best stadium in the NFL.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) July 8, 2020
That is at least according to a recent article on The Athletic, in which 31 NFL writers vote on the best stadium in the league.
Of US Bank they said:
”U.S. Bank Stadium has a few features that separate itself from the rest of the pack, even among the newest stadiums. Of course, you’d have to start with the transparent roof, the first of its kind on a North American stadium.
From the seats, you can see the downtown skyline through the glass. Many early-arriving fans for the Super Bowl two years ago wore sunglasses, offering an outdoor feel in a state where you usually wouldn’t want to be outdoors in February. (It gets so bright that they had to install curtains for the Final Four.)
From the outside, the glass paneling offers cool reflections of both the skyline and the sunset.
There’s no overhanging, massive jumbotron that could distract from actually watching the play below, and, importantly, the seats are spacious and comfortable. It’s not perfect, of course.
Occasionally, the corridors can feel a bit cramped. But in a time where many of the modern stadiums feel similar, Minnesota’s stands out.“
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some US Bank, although it desperately needs a nickname. I like the CrankBank, myself, because it’s a bank, it makes us cranky and also it looks like a giant piece of meth, glistening in the night sky… Delicious… Delicious meth.
Where was I?
You know that pride you force yourself to get when something sucks but it sucks so bad you’re proud it sucks to the point that you get angry if someone claims their sucky thing sucks more than your thing sucks?
Like people in a Pontiac Fiero fan club?
Or when us Minnesotans say to people from other Northern States, “You think THAT is winter?!?”
There was that charm to the ‘Dome. Sure, it smelled like a Kid Rock tour bus before the bus rental company decided to cut its losses and just drive said bus into a volcano. Sure, you were reminded where your genitals measured up against the general public every time you used the Men’s bathroom.
Sure the dome collapsed. Sure, the seats were ugly, uncomfortable and pointed in the wrong direction half the time. Sure, the sound system caused dogs in a two-mile radius to explode. Sure, players hated it to the point that it hurt free agency and their self esteems. Sure, the change in air pressure caused multiple drunks to embarrassingly fall without fail each game as they exited.
Sure, the Dome Dog literally tasted like soap. Sure, people would sometimes do that pass the hot dog down to you in the middle of your section thing without washing their hands after going to the trough. Sure, more and more evidence proves that it is where COVID and the idea of Justin Bieber originated.
I’m not gonna lie. I kinda miss it.
Perhaps its nostalgia. Perhaps its a physical dependence on the chemicals that comprised the Dome Dog. Or perhaps its the Crappy Pride I described above.
But I actually think that I miss the noise of the stadium, and how it terrified opposing teams to the point of them creating conspiracy theories about how legitimate that sound was (“It’s being piped in from the speakers!”). As if THOSE speakers could generate anything but inaudible treble before blowing a fuse.
I know they said US Bank would be louder, and that the glass-like material on the roof would amplify and redirect sound back down to the playing field until opposing QBs ended up like that news reporter from the movie Scanners.
But, it just doesn’t seem as loud to me as the Dome. That doesn’t mean that the Vikes have lost their home-field advantage, as they clearly have played great there.
But in the same vein as the Crap Pride logic detailed above, The Met and TCF Stadiums enhanced our CP when it came to how cold our winters were, which was a HUGE home-field advantage greater than the Favre era one at Lambeau.
As we saw in the 2015 Wild-Card game against the Seahawks at TCF, that can really come in handy and slow down a team from a less frigid climate (it also apparently makes kicking field goals harder than splitting the atom, though).
The Dome had that noise.
US Bank may be fancy, but I’m still looking for that stadium defining edge, and $12 beer doesn’t count. That is unless the collective wind from the SKOL chant/residual noise from the Gjallarhorn and the water from Ragnar’s tears in the parking lot somehow are combining to create some sort of Minnesota version of Captain Planet named Captain Bike Lane”
“Snow, Lake Water, Lutefisk, Sound of Public Radio.. Passive Aggression!”
In the mean time, we could at least figure out that nickname. I’ll give you guys a week, otherwise I’ll use my limited sway to force CrankBank on everyone.