Legendary Vikings Head Coach Jerry Burns got his first tour of U.S. Bank Stadium earlier this week.
MINNEAPOLIS — Jerry Burns spent nearly a quarter of a century guiding Vikings offenses toward the end zone.
Now, the former offensive coordinator (1968-85) and head coach (1986-91) will watch the next generation strive for the pylon from his seat in the press box of U.S. Bank Stadium.
Burns visited the 1.75-million-square-foot venue that's nearly twice the size of its predecessor, the Metrodome (900,000 square feet), which opened in 1982.
The press box is in the southeast corner of the venue and curves around past the back of the end zone, but is significantly lower than some of the newer stadiums in the NFL.
"Well, it's a little shaky down there, right on the goal line, but nevertheless, you get a full view of the entire stadium," Burns told Vikings.com.
As for the stadium itself, it's fair to call "Burnsie" a fan, even though he still thinks like a coach.
"It's great. I've never seen any building better than this," Burns said. "I've never seen a place where you can have a football game and have a stadium like this. I hope it helps the football team."
In addition to visiting the press box, Burns saw some of the art collection that honors Vikings of the past. A wall wrap of the 1980s features a picture from the construction of the Metrodome adjacent to a picture from when Burns was named to replace longtime friend and Hall of Famer Bud Grant. Both Burns and Grant are members of the Vikings Ring of Honor.
As Burns walked along the main concourse, several construction workers did a double take.
And before the question was finished, Burns greeted them with a grin and told them they should be proud of their roles in the building.
Asked what it's like to still be loved by fans after 25 years since he last led the Vikings, Burns classically deadpanned, "I don't know about loving me, but they recognize me."
"They all seem like nice guys," he added.
Burns said the only thing missing is Vikings fans, who claimed thousands of single-game seats Wednesday morning.
"I'm anxious to see it when it's filled up with the people watching the game," Burns said. "This is a beautiful stadium, and I've never seen anything better."