Vikings Make Necessary Changes For Home Opener – But Are They Ready For Fans?
Later today, the Minnesota Vikings will play their first game at their new home at U.S. Bank Stadium. But have they done enough preparation for the fans to enjoy it?
The anticipation has been growing ever since the team first broke ground on December 3rd, 2013. After three years of planning, digging and building the team finally has a brand new state-of-the-art $1.1 billion stadium for the fans to enjoy for years to come.
But are they ready for them all?
Earlier this month the stadium hosted its first ever event, a soccer game featuring A.C. Milan vs Chelsea F.C. on August 3rd to mixed reviews. Next came back-to-back concerts featuring Luke Bryan, and Metallica...
But the biggest test for U.S. Bank Stadium comes today at noon when the football team welcomes its rabid fan base for the first time.
The gates finally open at 9:30 a.m. for fans, and so begins a big test for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
Long lines are inevitable on any game day or event, but they certainly have been the biggest complaint so far.
"We'll learn something between Sunday and of course the next game is already Thursday so we need to be ready," said chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. She said staff are ready even after complaints on social media of concession stands running out of food during a pro soccer earlier in August.
She said there will be enough food at Sunday's game and enough workers; between 100-150 extra people were hired.
As for the long lines we heard about for food and outside of some bathrooms, Kelm-Helgen says staff have put up stations to try and get lines out of the middle of the concourse and get people lined up on the side.
Another issue has been transportation, as Metro Transit says it'll have as many trains as possible running along the stadium to try and avoid crowding, while having extra staff directing people to buses and trains.
Metro Transit also has a dedicated U.S. Stadium page, and it’s encouraging fans to buy all-day passes in advance for the same price as a round-trip, eliminating the need to stand in line for a ticket home.
So if you're heading up to the game today, or anytime this season, the thing to remember is to just be patient and plan ahead. With the team announcing Thursday that U.S. Bank Stadium has been sold out for this season, you have to remember that there are more than 60,400 seats that need to be filled this year, so everyone is experiencing this for the first time just like you are.
So just enjoy the day, and SKOL VIKINGS!