When the Minnesota Vikings announced that they were going to be playing two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium while waiting for the construction of their new stadium, people were skeptical about the team's odds of improving their record, and rightfully so. Since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, seven teams had played in a temporary location while they were waiting for an old facility to be remodeled or for a new stadium to be built. Only one of them had improved their record in their first season in their new home, and that team was the Carolina Panthers, who improved from their expansion season of 1995 (when they played at Clemson) to their second year in 1996 (when they moved to Charlotte).
The Minnesota Vikings are now the first non-expansion team (or second team overall, depending on your perspective) to improve their record from the previous season after being displaced.
Here is a full list of the teams that have been displaced since the merger, and how they performed.
|New York Giants||1972||Yankee Stadium||8-6||1973||Yale Bowl||2-11-1|
|Carolina Panthers||1995||Memorial Stadium (Clemson)||8-8||1996||Ericcson Stadium (Charlotte)||12-4|
|Tennessee Oilers||1996||Astrodome (Houston)||8-8||1997||Liberty Bowl (Memphis)||8-8*|
|Baltimore Ravens||1997||Memorial Stadium||6-9-1||1998||Ravens' Stadium at Camden Yards||6-10|
|Seattle Seahawks||1999||Kingdome||9-7||2000||Husky Stadium||6-10|
|Chicago Bears||2001||Soldier Field||13-3||2002||Memorial Stadium (Champaign)||4-12|
|New Orleans Saints||2004||Superdome||8-8||2005||Baton Rouge/San Antonio||3-13|
|Minnesota Vikings||2013||Metrodome||5-10-1||2014||TCF Bank Stadium||6-7**|
* - The Oilers also went 8-8 when they moved from the Liberty Bowl to Vanderbilt Stadium for the 1998 season before finally settling into their brand new stadium for the 1999 season, at which point they were renamed the Titans.
** - Obviously, the Vikings' season is not over yet.
The Vikings have another full season at TCF Bank Stadium before the best stadium in professional sports is completed for the 2016 season. With that being the case, hopefully there's another season of improvement on the horizon.