MINNEAPOLIS –Fewer than 24 hours from its ribbon cutting, U.S. Bank Stadium is already leaving first-time visitors in awe.
"It's an amazing venue, and I think it's better than what I envisioned," said ProFootballTalk.com founder Mike Florio.
Florio, who visited the stadium Thursday, said he was impressed by the structure. He emphasized the bold presence of Vikings purple woven into every piece of the team's new home.
"I don't think the colors of the team are going to be changing anytime soon," Florio said. "It's purple everywhere you look."
Florio arrived before the sun to broadcast his radio show live from U.S. Bank Stadium. As the morning went on, he watched firsthand how the uniquely designed ETFE roof and large number of window panels creates an outdoor feel in an indoor stadium.
"It's bright, it's open, yet it's still a dome," Florio said. "When you watch the game on TV, it's going to have that impression [of an outdoor stadium.]
"It's going to give that combination of the noise that comes from a dome stadium but the feeling that comes from being outside," Florio added.
Florio's son, Alex, is a Vikings fan who accompanied his father to Minnesota to see the Vikings venue in person.
"I really had a high expectation of what it would be like because I've been looking at photos of the stadium for so long," Alex said. "I can say it definitely fulfilled my expectations. This whole place, it's great. It's great to be here."
Although he said travel is more difficult while attending college, Alex hopes to make it back to Minneapolis to watch a Vikings game.
"At least one," he said, smiling.
Since launching ProFootballTalk.com in 2001 and partnering with NBC Sports in 2009, Florio has seen his fair share of NFL press boxes. After checking out the press box at U.S. Bank Stadium, he said he appreciated the open-air design and would look forward to covering a game from the space.
"There isn't that fishbowl effect where you feel like you're removed from the action," Florio said. "You really get a sense of what's going on in the game, in the stadium, what the atmosphere is like, what the crowd is like."
The stadium is one of epic proportions, and Florio said it's a timeless piece of architecture.
"This isn't something that's going to be obsolete in 20 or 30 years," Florio said. "This stadium is built to last; this stadium is here to stay."
From the state-of-the-art video boards, to the WiFi network, to the field sun-kissed with natural light, U.S. Bank Stadium is a winner in Florio's book.
"It's the entire experience, and I think the experience here is going to be the kind of thing that will make 64, 65, 66,000 people want to be here every week."