On Friday the Vikings unveiled the "Vikings Voyage" at U.S. Bank Stadium, an interactive space for fans.
Technology is everywhere these days, including at the new home of the Vikings.
As U.S. Bank Stadium gets ready for its regular-season debut Sunday in primetime, SportTechie's Mark J. Burns took a look at how the venue's state-of-the-art technology will impact the NFL.
Burns noted the stadium is more than fan-friendly, with 2,000 HD flat-screen televisions, more than 25,000 square feet of high-quality HD video and ribbon boards and 1,300 Wi-Fi access points.
Those who designed and built the $1 billion stadium approached it from the mindset of a fan.
Burns also mentioned the stadium's lighting, Mystic Lake's Club Purple and the Vikings Voyage as signature elements of the 1.75-million-square foot building.
Additionally, U.S. Bank will be the first NFL stadium to feature LED lighting, which quickly adjusts for pregame and halftime festivities and also consumes less energy than traditional lighting. A fantasy seating area will allow certain ticket-holders the opportunity to stay updated on play from around the league. Finally, fans can travel through the *"Vikings Voyage" exhibit and learn about the franchise's 55-year history.*
Burns quoted Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf:
"As an organization, we constantly look to innovate and provide the best fan experience possible, and our approach was no different with the addition of the Vikings Voyage. The Voyage will bring fans together, allowing them to engage with their family and friends while celebrating Vikings history."
Smith's big tackle turned tide vs. Titans
With the Vikings down a touchdown early in the third quarter in Tennessee, Vikings safety Harrison Smith stuffed Titans running back Derrick Henry for no gain on a third-and-1 play to force a punt by Tennessee.
The Star Tribune's Andrew Krammer chatted with Smith to break down the crucial play.
Although Smith initially lined up on the right side of the defense but was motioned by linebackers Chad Greenway and Anthony Barr to switch sides based on Tennessee's offensive look.
He then burst off the edge and tackled Henry for no gain.
Smith corrects himself before the Titans snapped the ball from an unbalanced I-formation. He had adequate time to adjust because Tennessee's double motion chewed up 13 seconds between center Ben Jones touching the ball and quarterback Marcus Mariota receiving the snap. Smith quickly switched sides, where he and Barr blitzed the anticipated run.
"You need to know where you fit," Smith said. "The guys up front help make that play, and I got to kind of be the one that people saw make the play. But, you know, Linval [Joseph] on that play completely plugged the middle and Anthony [Barr] comes off the edge and takes on a blocker, maybe two of them. So, really that's like the dirty work."