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U.S. Bank Stadium Makes Football Debut

U.S. Bank Stadium, June 16, 2016

U.S. Bank Stadium made its football debut on Sunday, drawing rave views from the Minnesota Vikings

Prior to Sunday’s contest against the San Diego Chargers, U.S. Bank Stadium featured several high-profile events, including a friendly between Chelsea and AC Milan in late July and a few concerts this month. The preseason game, however, which marked the first NFL contest in the stadium, made a few advantages apparent.

One of the points the Vikings have brought up about U.S. Bank Stadium is the potential for a home field advantage. The Metrodome had a well-earned reputation–both in baseball and football–for wreaking havoc on opponents because of how loud the stadium could become in key situations. U.S. Bank Stadium is expected to foster a similar atmosphere, and comments from Vikings’ players indicate that the venue is succeeding in that objective. More from USA Today:

They believe (even if many others don’t) in third-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who showed his arm fatigue to be a non-issue in carving up the Chargers defense during a two-minute march Sunday, bringing enough noise from the 66,143 on hand to goof up the ensuing conversion try.

“You’re like, ‘No. Nooooo,’ veteran guard Alex Boone told USA TODAY Sports. “That’s the thing, is (fans) get so excited, and it’s funny, because we’re in the huddle, and everyone’s like, ‘Somebody calm them down, please.’ Because Teddy’s so soft-spoken, sometimes, you’re like, ‘What’d he say?’ There was a couple times where I couldn’t even hear the count.”

This building is a futuristic marvel. A sloped, 60% transparent roof lets in the sun while providing protection from Minnesota winters. Swinging doors 55 feet wide open one entrance. It’s a big stadium — nearly double the footprint of the dome that used to sit on this site — but feels intimate, with the front row 41 feet from the field and some suites within 25 feet.

Early evidence suggests U.S. Bank Stadium can pump up the volume, too, resuming what was a major advantage before the Vikings played the past two seasons outdoors at a college stadium named after a different bank while this place was under construction. The team measured a high of 114 decibels Sunday.

“It was pretty loud — for a preseason game especially,” said [safety Harrison] Smith, who caught a tipped ball for one of three Vikings interceptions Sunday. “I think it’ll be plenty loud once the real stuff comes around for sure.”

If nothing else, the preseason contest provides a preview of the atmosphere that could be in place for the Vikings’ home debut on September 18, when they face Green Bay Packers.

Image courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

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