The opening of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is rapidly approaching, and more people are starting to take notice of the new home of the Minnesota Vikings. Over at SI.com, writer Tim Newcomb has a look at what the best stadium in the National Football League will have to offer.
We know that the roof of the stadium will feature a substance called Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, or ETFE (because that's a hell of a lot easier to spell than Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene). The clear substance is going to allow a lot of natural light to come in, giving the venue a sort of indoor/outdoor feel. However, according to the story, there's going to be another notable benefit to the material.
The ETFE may have another unexpected benefit: Eric Grentz, construction executive for builder Mortenson Construction, says that sound engineers believe the ETFE will reverberate noise unlike any roofing material in the league.
The Metrodome had a reputation for being one of the loudest venues in sports, and of course there were idiots that swore the Vikings would pipe artificial noise into the stadium (something that was never once actually proven). With the new ETFE roof on the stadium, it certainly appears that the noise will continue to be a factor for opposing teams.
Another piece of the article that I found a little surprising has to do with the gigantic doors that will serve as the main entrance to the stadium.
The west entrance opens up onto a plaza and offers views of downtown Minneapolis from inside the building, thanks to five giant doors made of glass from Owatonna, Minn., each 55 feet wide and descending from 95 feet to 75 feet in height in alignment with the slope of the building.
The doors are the one of five entrances expected to welcome 70% of all fans on game day. The Vikings expect to leave them open for games in warmer months and close them in favor of traditional during the colder months.
There used to be rumors. . .and I don't know how substantiated they are. . .that when the New York Giants and New York Jets used to play at the Meadowlands, there were times where they open the outer doors to the stadium in order to influence the winds on field goal attempts. I don't know if the Vikings could get away with something like that with these doors, or if they'd even try. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they'd have the same sort of rules like those that govern retractable roofs in the NFL.
If you haven't already, check out Newcomb's look at the new home of the purple.