After years of anticipation, U.S. Bank Stadium will open for its first major sporting event on Wednesday.
The new home of the Minnesota Vikings will be in the spotlight during the upcoming NFL season. U.S. Bank Stadium is the only brand new facility making its debut this fall, and it will be hosting several major events over the next few years, including Super Bowl LII in 2018.
That makes U.S. Bank Stadium one of the more notable facilities in football, but its first major event will feature a different sport, as it hosts soccer’s International Champions Cup. Featuring a match between Chelsea and AC Milan, the contest at U.S. Bank Stadium is expected to draw more interest than previous games playedin Minnesota. More from the Star Tribune:
“The energy this event will produce will be an excellent kickoff to U.S. Bank Stadium,” said Lester Bagley, Vikings executive vice president of public affairs and stadium development.
More than 55,000 tickets have been sold, a contingent [SMG general manager Patrick] Talty expects will include both stadium tourists and soccer nuts who would make up the largest attendance for a soccer match in the state. Two years ago a Champions Cup match between Greek club Olympiakos and English Premier League champion Manchester City at TCF Bank Stadium drew an announced crowd of 34,047. Further back, and not so international, the Minnesota Kicks drew 46,370 to a game in 1978.
The match begins at 8 p.m., but the hope for event organizers is that attendees will spend the whole evening at U.S. Bank Stadium. An outdoor party will begin at 5 p.m., one hour before the stadium opens for the match.
U.S. Bank Stadium image courtesy Minnesota Vikings.