The passion of Vikings fans and the bold design of U.S. Bank Stadium have combined to make high-quality images captured by state-of-the-art cameras some of the most popular EarthCam content in the world.
The high-tech system currently features five different cameras that are documenting the exterior and interior work by dedicated construction workers with a live stream and archival photos.
From when the system was first installed in January 2014 through December 2015, there were more than 11.2 million page views.
EarthCam Strategic Sales Director Lisa Kelly said the U.S. Bank Stadium webcam is near the popularity of cameras set up at tourist locations like Abby Road in London and Las Vegas. Times Square in New York City reigns supreme, Kelly said, but the U.S. Bank Stadium webcam has been more popular than Levi’s Stadium, MetLife Stadium and the ongoing construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is scheduled to open in Atlanta in 2017, a year after U.S. Bank Stadium debuts.
“There’s something about the support of the Minnesota Vikings fans globally because we have statistics for people around the world logging in, and also the Vikings organization really getting it that you need to involve fans in every aspect of the team,” Kelly said.
She would know. She’s from New Brighton, Minnesota, has a purple Vikings hat in her New Jersey office and is closely following the team and construction. Kelly is making sure coworkers and friends on the East Coast are aware of the exciting construction in the Midwest, from U.S. Bank Stadium’s iconic design to the impact that its future presence is having on the Downtown East neighborhood of Minneapolis.
“Downtown is still transforming, with all the multi-family housing and other things happening down there,” Kelly said. “The construction cameras are not just capturing the stadium. They’re capturing how the new stadium is changing the whole landscape of the area.”
Kelly was home for the holidays and watched the Vikings thump the New York Giants 49-17 at her parents’ house two Sundays ago. She then joined a large contingency of Vikings fans in Midtown Manhattan to cheer on Minnesota’s 20-13 win over Green Bay as the team captured its first division title since 2009.
Kelly said one of EarthCam’s first systems was installed Sept, 20, 2001 at Ground Zero, nine days after the tragic terrorist attacks, to assist first responders with search and rescue efforts. The system remained in place and became a documentation tool as the area has been rebuilt. EarthCam recently donated four terabytes worth of footage.
The U.S. Bank Stadium webcam system includes a camera that is mounted on the Guthrie Theater and an aerial camera that has a great view of the stadium’s signature west entrance. The cameras range in size and complexity.
The “Live Cam” is a 2.1 megapixel system that streams full-frame HD video and enables precise pan/tilt and zoom controls. It has a 10x optical zoom and a 12x digital zoom. Views are kept clear by a maintenance-free wiper system.
Other cameras include a GigapixelCam that was the world’s first outdoor camera capable of producing panoramas of over one billion pixels, and a GigapixelCam X10, which is an upgrade and first of its type installed anywhere by EarthCam.
“There’s a couple on the exterior that are massively robust with a robotic base, 360-degree panorama cameras with a windshield wiper, heater and fan,” Kelly said. “Then there’s some smaller ones that are meant to be moved around. You just plug into power, you don’t need an internet connection or anything, so that one was simple for the project team.”
It’s no surprise that most views have occurred by users in the United States and Canada because of proximity, but New Zealand ranks third. Germany, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Mexico and the United Kingdom round out the top 10.
“It’s really a statement stadium, so the Vikings have used this as a great PR opportunity in showing the commitment to making an amazing venue that everyone is going to be able to be a part of for a long time,” Kelly said. “I couldn’t be more excited about working on this.”