US BANK STADIUM
STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #1
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
- Opened: 2016
- Capacity: 66,860
- Football Weather Misery Index: Indoors
- Games attended: 1 (plus 1 tour)
- Last visited: 2016
As amazing as many NFL stadiums are, nothing tops the Vikings home.
It boasts the most impressive architecture; certainly the sleekest and edgiest. The jet-black carbon steel structure has hard angles/tall corners and meets with lots of glass. The largest stone and glass bow aims toward the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The huge windows and translucent roof let in the light while keeping out the Minnesota cold. While the roof doesn’t retract, large doors can open up and let in fresh air during those early season games before the Minnesota winter rolls in. It’s a veritable crystal palace with purple seats and a giant Gjallarhorn.
Between the team name and the Scandinavian heritage of many Minnesotans, there is a strong Viking theme on game day. Many fans deck themselves out in full Norse costume. The “Skol” chant that kicks off the game gets my hair standing on end. And I don’t particularly like the team. Plus there’s an actual viking ship outside the stadium itself.
While the team lacks a massive lot like the suburban stadia, Viking fans can be found enjoying a relatively civil tailgate in the smaller East Town parking lots prior to game. My game was a prime time game, and the bars in the surrounding area seemed particularly hopping pre-game. By the time the fans came inside, the reserved Minnesotan stereotype is obliterated. Viking supporters got noisy and did a great job providing their squad with a real home field advantage.
In-stadium food is good too. You can find some delicious fare including a Skol dog (beef hot dog with bacon jam, yellow mustard and purple potato chips), Revival Fried Chicken (from a super- popular local joint), or the Kramarczuk’s Sausage (which I didn’t have here, but is a staple of mine at the Twins ballpark). Add representation from 14 local craft breweries, and you got a winner. And if that’s not enough, you can buy cheese curds by the bucket.
US Bank Stadium has the modernity of Atlanta but is occupied by more rabid fans. It has luxury like Dallas without the same level of ostentation. It’s the most impressive of the impressive, making US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, the NFL’s best venue.