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Sports Illustrated: 'U.S. Bank Stadium Gives Fans an Up-Close Experience'

One hundred days before the Vikings regular-season opener, U.S. Bank Stadium was featured in Sports Illustrated.

Writer Tim Newcomb, who toured the stadium on Jan. 14, gave readers an inside look at the Vikings new home.

*Closer to the field. Closer to the players. Closer to the Minnesota winter (without fear of frostbite). *

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with 66,200 seats broken down into 8,000 club seats, suites and more, fans can experience it all while enjoying the lights of downtown Minneapolis from indoors.

Newcomb said he appreciated the way U.S. Bank Stadium provides fans an indoor stadium with an "outdoor vibe," thanks to the use of ​ethylene-tetraflouroethylene​, or ETFE, in the venue's roof.

The ETFE may have another unexpected benefit: Eric Grentz, construction executive for builder Mortenson Construction, says that sound engineers believe the ETFE will reverberate noise unlike any roofing material in the league.

Newcomb also featured in his article the five massive doors, the plaza and Vikings Legacy Ship located outside the stadium, the culinary options available for fans and the video boards that will enhance the fan experience even more.

With the field sunk 50 feet below grade, fans won't all be going in one direction upon entry. Within a 360-degree concourse that offers near-continuous views into the playing field, fans can stay connected to the action with 2,000 television screens and two large videoboards, one at each end.

Vikings rookies fish for a cause

A group of Vikings rookies took to the lake Saturday, spending time with children for Take a Kid Fishing Day.

The event took place on Lake Jefferson and was the 15th consecutive year the Le Sueur County Sheriff's Mounted Posse organized the festivities.

Mark Fischenich of the Mankato Free Press wrote about the fishing outing that took place on a hot and muggy day in Minnesota.

The children, who mainly come from Le Sueur County but have been lured from as far away as Mankato or the Twin Cities, sometimes are getting their first opportunity to get out on a Minnesota lake and try some fishing. Sometimes the football players can provide angling pointers to the kids. And sometimes, the kids teach the Vikings.

"Everybody taught me a lot on my boat," Tre Roberson told Fischenich.

Roberson caught three sunfish.

"Most definitely, they were very smart kids," said Roberson. "They helped me take the fish off the hook."

Le Sueur County Sheriff Dave Tietz said the partnership with the Vikings has been a strong one, but he praised all of the donors and volunteers involved. The Mounted Posse, a group of volunteers who assist law enforcement when needed, is at the heart of the effort. But private businesses make the donations that allow the kids to take a fishing rod, basic tackle, a pair of sunglasses and a life vest home with them.

In addition to spending time fishing with the kids, the Vikings players gave out footballs and autographs.

Eric Kendricks looking to improve even more in second season

After being selected in the second round of last year's draft by the Vikings, linebacker Eric Kendricks made an immediate impact on the team's defense.

Kendricks finished the 2015 season with 105 tackles, becoming the first rookie to lead the team in tackles since Rip Hawkins in 1961. In 2016, however, he hopes to be better. Kendricks spoke with Viking Update's Eric Oslund about his goals for his second pro season.

"Looking back at it, I always set goals, and I fell short of my goals," Kendricks told Oslund. "But you look back at it and how hard I worked and everything that I accomplished, and I did all right. But I'm definitely not complacent, and my ultimate goal is to win a championship, so we fell short. So that's what I'm working for this next year."

Winning a championship is a tall task for any team, but the Vikings defense seems to be on the right track to being capable of carrying [its] team to one. [The Vikings had] a top-five scoring defense at the end of the 2015 season, and that is a huge increase from where they were just two years prior. They also proved that they perform their best on the biggest stages, holding the Seattle Seahawks to just 10 points and 226 total yards during their only playoff game of the season.

Kendricks said communication is key on defense and is an area the unit can always get better in. He said he and his teammates share a mindset of lofty goals for 2016.

*Kendricks certainly set high expectations as to what should be expected of him after a successful rookie campaign, but it seems no expectation will be higher than the one he sets on himself. *

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