EAGAN, Minn. – U.S. Bank Stadium has been a trendsetter in the NFL and among all pro sports venues since opening in 2016, elevating fan experiences on Vikings game days.
It plans to keep raising them and is placing technology at the forefront of multiple advancements this season.
Other wide-ranging categories under which enhancements will occur include stadium entry, fan experiences, new club spaces and food/beverage offerings.
Verizon 5G Wireless
Vikings partner Verizon on Thursday announced that U.S. Bank Stadium will be served by a 5G Ultra Wideband wireless network, one of 13 NFL venues.
The upgrade, which will be available in select areas, will allow higher capacity and faster download speeds for fans that are using 5G-enabled devices.
The 5G network can enable greater connectivity for in-stadium retailers, concessions stands, maintenance and operations managers and public safety officials through the reliable and superfast network.
Apple Business Chat
Earlier this summer, the Vikings became the first team to launch Apple Business Chat through a partnership with Satisfi Labs.
The service helped fans navigate the second training camp hosted by Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center by allowing them to communicate directly with Vikings staff members with the Messages app on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. The technology builds on the Vikings previous artificial intelligence platform, in which fans could communicate with a virtual assistant through the Vikings app.
Fans can now open their cameras to scan a QR code that is located throughout U.S. Bank Stadium and in the team's Playbook game programs. After the scan, a conversation will open instantly in the Messages app. Users can ask questions relevant to game-day experiences, as well as inquire about food and beverage availability and stadium logistics.
New Motion Graphics
The east and west video boards, which were manufactured in-state at Daktronics' factory in Redwood Falls, will help display a new motion graphics package that has been completely produced from within the organization. The Vikings demonstrated other Daktronics homegrown talent during the annual training camp night practice at TCO Stadium last month.
The ability to make the graphics package internally illustrates collaboration between the Vikings Entertainment Network and True North Vikings Creative teams.
Here are examples of the types of graphics that will be displayed on the video boards:
View snapshots of the new motion graphics at U.S. Bank Stadium for the 2019 season.
Click here to view more information about the design, manufacture and installation of the video boards at U.S. Bank Stadium.
New design, functionality for Vikings app
The official Vikings app has received a full redesign for 2019.
Now, fans can access their tickets for Vikings events and other stadium events all in the same place. Fans can navigate between Vikings and Stadium tabs with features specific to either the team or venue.
The app features a fan profile with access to tickets, an "Ask Me Anything" AI tool and receive push notifications. There are now more options for notifications, so fans should make sure those are enabled and select all of the messages they'd like to be sent to their phones.
Souvenir Pepsi cups are coming to life and helping fans celebrate this season at U.S. Bank Stadium. The cups that are available at concession stands have a code that can be scanned with a smart phone to unlock great Vikings celebrations with the Vikings app. Fans can then create and share their own celebrations on social media by using #SkolCelebrations and #Contest for a chance to win tickets and other prizes.
Consistent from previous years, digital tickets for all Vikings home games are accessible via the Vikings app or the online My Vikings Account web portal and can be saved to fans' mobile devices or coverless iPads.
In an effort to further reduce fraud, tickets now may have a rotating barcode that changes every 15 seconds, which means screenshots of tickets will not allow entry into U.S. Bank Stadium.
Fans should use their Apple Wallet for tap-and-go entry or view ticket barcodes in the Vikings app prior to arriving downtown and use the gate listed on their tickets to ensure the fastest entry. For more information regarding mobile entry, click here.
Dedicated "No Bag" Entry Lanes
In order to help expedite entry, every gate at U.S. Bank Stadium will have at least one dedicated security lane for fans that do not have bags.
For fans that have bags, the Vikings and U.S. Bank Stadium are continuing to enforce the NFL Bag Policy that regulates the size and type of bags allowed in NFL venues on game days.
The only fan bags allowed must be made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC, and they must not exceed 12" x 6" x 12" in size. Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap, are permitted under the policy. Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items, including breast pumps, after a proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
3M Sensory Room Helps Inclusivity Effort
In partnership with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) and KultureCity, the Minnesota Vikings have unveiled the 3M Sensory Room at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Designed by KultureCity, a nonprofit based in Birmingham, Alabama, the Sensory Room caters to fans with autism, Down syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and other conditions requiring a safe and soothing atmosphere.
Located on the Upper Concourse behind section 346, the space allows individuals, regardless of their ability, to enjoy amenities at U.S. Bank Stadium confidently, knowing they have a quiet space to retreat to for a break as needed.
The room is staffed with two licensed behavioral specialists from Fraser Pediatric Therapy for every Vikings home game and includes a sensory active wall display, sensory toys, low lighting, bean bag chairs, autism kits, 3M ear plugs and noise-cancelling headphones.
Also new in 2019, after games, fans will be able to find themselves in a stadium-wide photo, create a tag, make a digital postcard and share it on social media thanks to Fancam.
This unique experience is enabled by four remote-controlled HD cameras that take photos of the entire stadium bowl every 20 minutes.
Temporary cameras were installed for the final game of the 2016 regular season, but the cameras will be used throughout this season.
New Club Spaces
As an original 2016 U.S. Bank Stadium Founding Partner and one of the first casinos to ink an NFL partnership, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel has expanded its existing footprint and introduced the Little Six Casino's Club Gold.
Located on the south side of U.S. Bank Stadium, Little Six Casino's Club Gold includes a complete transformation with new photos, artwork and graphics. It also features a space that is dedicated for promotional giveaways and interactive activities.
The Polaris Club (formerly known as the Hyundai Club) on the stadium's north side (visiting team sideline) has been redesigned to showcase new Polaris vehicles and offer fans unique engagement opportunities. Fan giveaways will take place inside the club during the Vikings home games.
CenturyLink, which is already providing an integrated IP network inside U.S. Bank Stadium that enables 1,300 Wi-Fi access points and allows stadium-wide Internet access, has introduced the CenturyLink Lodge and the CenturyLink Cabins, both located in the northeast corner of U.S. Bank Stadium.
Food and Beverage Additions
There are multiple new food and beverage offerings and expansions of service at U.S. Bank Stadium this fall.