Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Vikings Focused on Football Amidst New Stadium Opener

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Captain Munnerlyn is entering his third season in Minnesota, which means he's been exposed to the rivalry between the Vikings and Packers a few times now. 

Even so, the Vikings cornerback said the intensity between the two teams is more than he expected when he signed as a free agent in 2014.

With the Vikings and Packers slated to square off on NBC's Sunday Night Football at 7:30 p.m. (CT), the regular-season opener of U.S. Bank Stadium could go down as one of the most anticipated games in Vikings history.

"I didn't expect it to be this crazy," Munnerlyn said of the passion between the two teams. "You go around the city and you see Packer fans, you see Minnesota fans, and they're always talking trash to each other.

"It's a fun rivalry to be a part of, and to play this game on Sunday, I'm definitely excited for it," he added.

The Vikings new 1.75-million-square foot home features all of the bells and whistles, from the world's largest pivoting glass doors that show the Minneapolis skyline to the ETFE roof that covers 60 percent of the building and state-of-the-art LED lighting.

Despite the glitz and glamour, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy knows his team will be in for an energetic Purple crowd.

"The Metrodome, as far as the uniqueness and the noise level we dealt with over the years, I think it's given us a pretty good gauge or standard on what the expectation should be," McCarthy said earlier this week.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is also a veteran of raucous Vikings crowds, having played six games at the Metrodome before it was demolished in 2014.

Rodgers said he expects the first Border Battle of 2016 to be electric.

"I'm expecting there to be some great energy, great crowd noise," Rodgers said. "They always have a loud, intelligent crowd over there.

"So I'm expecting it to be rockin'," he added. "*Sunday Night Football, *and the noise will be a factor."

While numerous Vikings talked about the potential for a loud crowd, players mainly focused on how excited they are to break in the new stadium in front of a national TV audience.

Sunday's matchup is the 112th all-time meeting between the two franchises, which includes two postseason games.

Some are saying Sunday night's battle could equal the feeling and atmosphere of the postseason.

"It will probably be as close to a playoff game as we'll get until playoff time," said Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson.

The Vikings also debuted a celebratory light show during their fourth preseason game, which was held at night.

Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said he wasn't focused on counting light shows after a Minnesota touchdown.

With the stakes at their highest, all Barr wants is a victory.

"The goal is to win," Barr said. "If (the light show) comes with it, the more the merrier."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.