Minnesota Vikings: Making U.S. Bank stadium an advantage
By Ryan Palmer
How can the Minnesota Vikings establish home-field advantage at U.S. Bank Stadium?
Chicago Bears ex-head coach Mike Ditka used to dread bringing his squad to the now demolished Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Sarcastically referring to it as “Rollerdome”, comparing it to a giant livestock hall, accusations of artificially pumped in crowd noise, veteran fans of the Minnesota Vikings have heard it all. A friend once likened the outside shape of the dome to an enormous pot pie, fair enough, but it was home-field for a number of the state’s beloved sports teams for decades. So many memories, but the Metrodome was ready for deflation.
TCF Bank Stadium became the Vikings temporary home for two seasons. In the 16 regular season home games at the University of Minnesota the team posted a winning percentage of 69%. (11-5, 0.6875), 12% higher than the NFL average of 57%. That’s a pretty solid advantage for the home team.
With the first home game scheduled for September 18, against the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings will unveil their $1 billion dollar beauty on Sunday Night Football. With the capacity of holding 66,200 Viking fans, who’ll call U.S. Bank Stadium home for the next couple of decades.
So how can the Vikings keep their home-field winning ways flowing at U.S. Bank Stadium?
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Positive momentum has to help. Coming off an 11-5 (6-2 at home, 0.75) season, winning the NFC North, a solid playoff run. GM Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer have assembled one of the NFL’s most athletic and young rosters. Playing well in-front of the home crowd seems to matter tremendously to this team.
Having some familiarity with your surroundings is another. This preseason will not only be about assessing talent, but the players and coaches getting comfortable with the ins and outs of their new playing field. Having already survived one move in his tenure this should be a smooth transition for Mike Zimmer and club.
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Last, but certainly not least, is the fanbase. It doesn’t seem to matter where the Vikings play, an inflatable pastry shell, on a college campus, or in a billion dollar state-of-the-art ultra-stadium, Minnesota Vikings fans will show up in force. Advantage Vikings.