New Vikings stadium includes Virtual Reality fan experiences
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Minnesota Viking fans will have a whole new way of experiencing their team’s history this fall in their brand new venue, U.S. Bank Stadium.
A perk of the new venue is the Vikings Voyage. This is a high-tech, interactive fan experience that will celebrate Vikings legends and showcase memorabilia. The 10,000-square foot, several million-dollar space will give fans the chance to show off their athleticism, educate themselves on the progress of the game of football and view tributes to the some of the best players in the Minnesota franchise.
Fans will be able to test their skills through trials of shuttle drills and vertical jumps, and they can catch passes using a virtual reality device and crash into a blocking pad that will measure their impact force. Their results will be tracked through a bracelet that’s equipped with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system. They’ll be able to compare their results to family members, friends, other Vikings fans and the marks posted by players from the NFL combine.
“We know we want to tell a story, but first, let’s talk about the technology that’s there and what fun things we can do, so things like virtual reality, for example, to the level we can do that now is kind of exciting Technology is going to trace your body as it jumps in the air or watch if you’re catching a pass, and we expect it to get better,” Vikings director of brand & creative Erin Swartz said in a statement.
There will also be a Viking ship hull with a projection screen to play archived footage and modern video features.
“This experience center mirrors everything we’ve been talking about with our values system: being progressive, unifying with the community and being relentless,” Vikings VP of partnerships activation and special projects Tanya Dreesen said in a statement.
The stadium will also feature sculptures of notable players like Purple People Eaters Jim Marshall, Alan Page, Carl Eller and Gary Larsen sitting on a bench with space for fans to sit next to them and take photos. The sculpture is a recreation of an iconic image of the four of them.
One of the newest players to be added to Vikings (and NFL) history is Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, who was the second NFL player to record 1,000 catches during his career. Carter will receive his own personal tribute in the Voyage through 1,000 chrome-plated footballs that are suspended from the ceiling.
“As an organization, we constantly look to innovate and provide the best fan experience possible, and our approach was no different with the addition of the Vikings Voyage,” Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said in a statement. “The Voyage will bring fans together, allowing them to engage with their family and friends while celebrating Vikings history.”
The Voyage is located above the team store and is free for fans, but has a 250-person limit, so fans will need to sign up in advance. It will be open before, during and after all home games and during any Vikings special events.
In addition to the Voyage, the new stadium will have numerous improvements from lighting to acoustics. The roof will play a helping hand in both of these components, with 60% of it being high-technology “pillow-like” clear tiles to allow in natural light and the other 40% being metal to help noise echo throughout the stadium. U.S. Bank Stadium will also be almost twice the size of the Metrodome and can hold up to 67,000 fans during Vikings games (the amount varies when it comes to other events).
There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, July 22 with free public tours on July 23 and 24.