RAYMO’S RAMBLINGS – FIRST TIME AT US BANK STADIUM
FIRST TIME AT US BANK STADIUM
Saturday was my very first visit to the newest NFL stadium. It was way bigger and better than it looks on TV. All I can say is, absolutely amazing!! The Minneota Viking football team played in the state semifinals vs Mayer Lutheran. The Vikings dominated and won 54 to 21. I had the pleasure of broadcasting from the press box, where the public is not allowed. The press box area is a lot bigger than the Metrodome’s press area.
However, from a broadcaster’s standpoint the press area is located on one end of the stadium and difficult to see when play on the field is on the other end. It is much like the football press area at SMSU in Marshall which is located on the goal line! TCF Bank stadium press area, where the Gophers play is located above the 50-yard line and you have an excellent view to broadcast from, however at TCF Bank you are on the top level and way to far from the field to see well.
At US Bank I was impressed with how the press box in laid out, very spacious and kind of a two level area. Bottom level for radio broadcasters, second level for newspaper and online writers. Behind the broadcast area is a full kitchen/lunch area with many tables to sit. Another thing that really caught my attention is the art/photo work on the walls. So much fun to look at with the history of the Vikings being displayed. Also so many television monitors all over the place, I would like to know how many monitors the whole stadium has, it has to be in the thousands. I sneaked into a luxury suite and was blown away at how large and luxurious it was.
When I have driven by the stadium in the past, I always thought it kind of looks ugly. I didn’t care about the look from the outside. But I have changed my mind after walking around the whole stadium from the outside on Saturday. On the sidewalk and you look up and it is massive and does look very much like a Viking ship, which is cool.
I remember well my first time in the Metrodome and was awed! I know a lot of people hated the Metrodome, but I really liked the stadium. Not a bad seat, I watched the Twins, Vikings, Gophers and yes, the Timberwolves. I always liked going to the Metrodome. I also remember my first time going to TCF Bank stadium, it was the Gophers vs Air Force. We sat on the very end and faced the giant jumbo tron. I was really impressed with the Gophers stadium. I have broadcasted high school games from all three stadiums and all three of them have unique characteristics. But US Bank stadium is a notch above the other two.
US Bank Stadium is very impressive for sure, and the world will see how impressive it is when the the stadium hosts the Super Bowl . And guess what? I get to go back to US Bank stadium this Saturday for more Minneota Viking football…..state championship game 10am!!