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U.S. Bank Stadium Debuts

U.S. Bank Stadium, June 16, 2016

U.S. Bank Stadium made its debut on Wednesday, when fans packed the new downtown Minneapolis facility for its first major event.

Wednesday’s soccer match between Chelsea and AC Milan marked the first game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Though the Vikings will not debut at the facility until later this month, the event offered some glimpses of the stadium’s early strengths and weaknesses.

The good news for the stadium was that tickets for the match sold at a high rate. Over 64,000 fans turned out for the contest, indicating strong interest in U.S. Bank Stadium for its first year. Still there were some early issues–such as long lines, and crowded concourses–that were very much evident. The Vikings see the event as a opportunity to iron out some of these problems before the team moves into the facility for good. More from the Star Tribune:

Brisk ticket sales for the relatively insignificant match between Chelsea and AC Milan belied the years of public divide and political debate over construction of the building. Nearly a decade of discussions led to $498 million in public money going into the building. Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf covered the remainder of the cost.

Behind the scenes, staff for the Vikings and the stadium operators assessed everything.

Vikings communications director Jeff Anderson said that while the congestion on the concourses is a concern, “this first event, you have that moment of coming in and saying, ‘Whoa’ and getting your bearings. Our fans have never seen anything like this.”

U.S. Bank Stadium will host its first football game on August 28, when the Vikings face the San Diego Chargers in a preseason contest. The Vikings’ regular season debut will be played against the Green Bay Packers on September 18, a game that will be showcased on Sunday Night Football.

Image courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings. 

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