The Vikings are set to kick off their 2014 preseason this Friday night by hosting the Oakland Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium. Here are five things fans should know about Friday's game, which marks the beginning of the Vikings two-year stint of playing home games on the University of Minnesota campus.
1. You Can Still Purchase Tickets to the GameIf you want to be on-hand to take in the Vikings return to outdoor football, you are in luck. Purchase 2014 season tickets today here or by calling (612) 338-4537 to get New Stadium priority.
2. Parking and Light Rail Transit: Plan Ahead!
Parking and traffic can be a pain heading to any stadium in any city, but with proper planning ahead of time fans will be able to avoid headaches. Helping matters is the fact that, on June 14, the Green Line rail system opened. The Green Line connects Minneapolis to St. Paul and has a stop in Stadium Village within two blocks of the stadium. This is a viable option for fans who don't want to deal with pre- and post-game traffic jams or pay parking fees.
For more parking tips as you head to the stadium this season and next, click here.
3. Friday Marks the Beginning of a New EraFriday's preseason opener may be an exhibition game, but it officially marks the on-field beginning of a new era of Vikings football. Head coach Mike Zimmer leads a new-look Vikings team back to outdoor football and into the 2014 season, where the franchise has its sight set on turning things around and reclaiming NFC North supremacy behind disciplined, smart and tough football.
4. Year No. 2 for NFL's Bag PolicyTo provide a safe environment for fans attending the game and to expedite stadium entry at TCF Bank Stadium, the Vikings will enforce the NFL Bag Policy for a second consecutive season. The NFL's bag policy limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into the stadium on game day. Click here to familiarize yourself with the NFL's policy.
5. Competition is Intense for Roster SpotsThe Vikings feature a mostly-new coaching staff and a roster that experienced a high rate of turnover. That combination of factors has led to some intense competition for roster spots, and that competition continues tonight with roster cuts looming. NFL teams must cut their rosters down to 75 by August 26 and then to 53 players by August 30. The NFL's regular season opener will be on Thursday, September 4 when the reigning Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings open their season on Sunday, September 8 by traveling to St. Louis.