It’s the single word I heard more than any other from nearly every patron in the new Minnesota Vikings Museum located at their new headquarters in Eagan. I must have uttered it at least a dozen times myself.
From the moment you walk through the entrance of the museum, striking visuals catch your eye no matter where you look. Everything feels futuristic, even though nearly every display is a nod to a section of the franchise’s storied past. It’s an art gallery without all of the stuffiness.
When you walk in, you are greeted with shrines to each member of the Vikings that has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Including Randy Moss, who goes in this weekend.) Each player has a tall glass-encased uniform with a bunch of memorabilia along with an interactive digital display along the wall. Once you finish gawking at the finest players to ever don the purple, you’ll probably notice displays from Vikings stadiums of the past. From seats to turnstiles to pennants to programs, each display is a time capsule of Met Stadium and the Metrodome.
After walking through some of the history, the back end of the museum shows off some of the more futuristic and interactive displays. There is a 360 theater screen that plays highlight videos and stories from fans that you can submit on a nearby keypad. VR headsets where you can take a virtual tour of US Bank Stadium. A wall with headphones where you can listen to quotes from every Head Coach in Vikings history. A large digital “storybook” where you can read about dozens of former players, teams, and games.
The attention to detail in the museum is pretty incredible as well. Most walls are covered with historical facts and each piece in the museum has a thorough description. You could lose hours combing through all the details that the team has carefully procured on each display.
There are dozens of spots in the museum that designed with photo ops in mind, which was excellent forethought for our selfie-crazed generation. From life-sized figures of current players to a giant wall that looks like you’re taking a purple Gatorade bath, you’ll definitely have a full arsenal of great shots to tweet or post to Instagram when you’re done.
On the far side of the museum, some of the franchise’s most iconic teams are detailed with beautiful displays. My personal favorite—the 1987 team. I remember it so fondly because it was the season that made six-year-old me a Vikings fan for life. I saw the Anthony Carter Sports Illustrated cover after they beat the 49ers in the playoffs. The jerseys and cleats from Joey Browner and Scott Studwell were there. Stats and scores from games I remember watching in my formative years caused an avalanche of nostalgia.
That’s the best part of the Vikings Museum—every fan will have their own favorites. While I geeked out over the Starting Lineup figurines, the old Burger King Three Deep poster, and the early-90’s Chalk Line jacket, fans from other generations might go nuts for the box of Moss’ Magic Crunch or the Super Bowl programs from the 70’s or the old Duluth Eskimos jersey or the incredible amount of Bud Grant paraphernalia. Younger fans will love seeing all their modern day heroes in a new way while older fans will love all the incredible artifacts from yesteryear. I don’t know how many times I thought to myself how much a member of my family would love seeing a particular item. The museum truly encapsulates the shared experience of being a Vikings fan through the generations.
The Vikings Museum should be a destination visit for any diehard fan young or old. The price of admission isn’t exactly cheap—the cost is $20 per $5 per child ages 3-14, and free for children 2 or under. So if you do visit, make sure to carve out ample time to soak everything in and get your money’s worth. I spent about an hour there and I could have easily stretched it to two or three if I went through each display in more detail.
Tickets during Training Camp can be purchased here. If you’d like to take a tour of the museum after camp wraps up on August 16, you can purchase them here. The lines were fairly long when we visited over the lunch hour, but they also moved pretty quickly. I would recommend pre-purchasing tickets if you’re planning to go during camp.
You can click through the gallery above to get a preview of some of the features you’ll see at the museum. Those pictures are by no means an exhaustive “virtual tour”; there are several more areas that you’ll have to check out for yourself. If you’re visiting Training Camp at all over the next couple weeks, make sure to stop over and give it a look.
Special thanks to the Vikings PR staff for allowing us to document the tour on Monday.