A rendering by the HKS Sports and Entertainment Group of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
A rendering by the HKS Sports and Entertainment Group of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. (Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority)

The Vikings' new stadium doesn't look like a football stadium. It's more like some futuristic spaceship you would envision warp speeding around a distant quadrant of the universe. And there's nothing wrong with that.

The new stadium will have a distinctive look that had fans who saw it for the first time letting out the kind of cheer Adrian Peterson gets when he takes off on an 80-yard touchdown run.

There's a lot of glass and sharp edges and it will remind absolutely no one of its predecessors — the Metrodome and Metropolitan Stadium.

The new design might not be for everyone, particularly traditionalists. Then again, no one is more traditional than former Vikings coach Bud Grant and he liked it.

"I'm sold," Grant said at Monday night's unveiling. "I've always been an advocate of outdoor football. I want to be around to see this stadium built. It's going to be a credit to this community. Remember, we're Minnesotans. We're different from other people."

And this new stadium will be different. There's a steeply pitched see-through roof that prompted Bryan Trubey, the representative of stadium designer HKS, to say, "Clear is the new retractable."

The stadium will have an airy feel to it with all the light coming in and, after decades of being jostled and shoved in the cramped Metrodome, fans will love the wide concourses.


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Trubey also said the stadium "will be the most versatile structure on the planet" because it can be converted into a baseball field, soccer field, hockey rink and basketball arena, and also be used for motocross and concerts.

The unveiling was done at the Guthrie theater. It seemed a bit high brow and an odd place to give folks their first look at a new stadium, especially with the guest speakers on a stage with props from "The Primrose Path" encircling them. Then again, the Guthrie is publicly funded, too. It must have made sense to whoever hatched the idea to do it there.

As for the stadium design, it sure seemed to make sense to people seeing it for the first time.

"Wow. Impressive. I've been to Indianapolis and seen that field and this blows that away," said Vikings fan Sam Cooke of Minneapolis. "It's exactly what you want to see."

David Garza of St. Paul came to the unveiling with face paint, a Vikings helmet adorned with glued-on horns and his favorite Vikings jersey. Garza called the design "gorgeous" and "pretty spectacular."

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier called it "fantastic" and he really wasn't laying it on too thick.

The inside of the stadium will have two of the largest video boards in the NFL, each measuring 50 feet high by 120 feet wide. When the dimensions were given, fans roared their approval.

The Guthrie had a mix of politicians, civic leaders, team executives and fans, some of whom won tickets to the unveiling through a Vikings deal on Twitter. Others drove to the Metrodome to fetch tickets at Gate B late Monday afternoon. Some fans wore civilian clothes. Many were dressed in jerseys of their favorite players, some wore bright yellow Helga braids and a few, like Garza, went with face paint.

While others raved about the look and feel of the stadium, Gov. Mark Dayton stumped for what it will mean to the economy.

"It's about providing jobs to Minnesotans who won't have one without this undertaking," Dayton said.

They'll get to work on a hot-looking, state-of-the-latest-art stadium.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf called the new stadium something that will "really bring us to the 21st century."

Some day, this stadium design will seem old and outdated, but that time is a long way off.