The Vikings will host the Lions at noon (CT) Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in the first of two meetings between the NFC North rivals.
In addition to celebrating the annual "Salute to Service" initiative in support of the service and sacrifice of members of the military and their families, the Vikings are continuing several new rituals that were launched on Sept. 18 when the Vikings defeated the Packers 17-14.
The celebration will begin outside the stadium at 9:30 a.m. with the opening of the Delta Vikings Village and The Commons Park. Here's a rundown of in-game elements, as well as festivities before the game.
Stadium opens: 9:30 a.m.
Key logistics for fans attending the game
A dedicated Skyway route is open starting at 9 a.m.
Television: FOX9 in the Twin Cities
Radio: KFAN 100.3-FM in the Twin Cities and across the five-state Vikings Radio Network
Player warm-ups with DJ Skee:Vikings player warm-ups will feature a live DJ performance by artist, television host and radio personality DJ Skee, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Vikings SKOL Chant
The Vikings will continue the "Vikings SKOL Chant," a version of the "Vikings War Chant" that was made famous by the Iceland men's national soccer team after their return from the Euro 2016 this summer. Aron Gunnarsson, the captain of Iceland's national team, and Thor Bjornsson, a native Icelander and "The Mountain" from Game of Thrones, helped pass along this new tradition in the regular-season opener. Vikings alumni and military members in uniform will be featured.
Color Guard: A joint services color guard, featuring all five branches of the military
National Anthem: The National Anthem will be performed by The United States Air Force Ceremonial Brass Quintet. Stationed in Washington D.C., the Ceremonial Brass Quintet is the official ceremonial ensemble of the United States Air Force Band, one of the United States military's premier ensembles.
Honorary Captains: Two-star General Richard Nash, Adjunct General of the Minnesota National Guard, and two-star General Kent Savre, Commanding General of the U.S. Army base at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, will serve as honorary captains.
U.S. Bank Hometown Heroes:World War II veterans Ingmar Molde (Navy) and Melvin Heckt (Marines) will be honored as the U.S. Bank Hometown Heroes of the game.
Honorary Airman: World War II veteran Orren Lee (Air Force) will be recognized on field alongside the flight crew performing the stadium flyover.
Changing of the Guard: There is an unfilled seat in U.S. Bank Stadium that is **dedicated to Prisoners of War/Missing in Action members of the military**. Current service members stand guard over the seat during Vikings games. Navy Com. Brian Danielson will participate in the changing of the guard. Danielson's father, Air Force Capt. Ben Danielson was shot down over Laos in 1969. He was not rescued and declared MIA. More than 35 years later, Com. Danielson participated in an expedition to bring home the remains of his father.
Welcome Home 682nd Engineer Battalion: The Vikings will welcome home the 682nd Engineer Battalion of the Minnesota National Guard, returning from a year-long deployment in Kuwait. Adj. Gen. Rick Nash will conduct the ceremony.
Souvenir, player-designed cup: Prior to the season, several players worked with artists on designs of limited edition souvenir cups. Linval Joseph worked with an artist on the cup for the Nov. 6 game. It is $8 at concession stands or $10 in the Hyundai Club where soft-drink refills are part of the ticket package.
M Hospitality is donating $1,000 to charity in Joseph's name for his collaboration.
Luke Combs Performance – Rising country star and SONY recording artist Luke Combs will perform as part of a halftime tribute to our country's service members. Combs, who is set to go on tour this spring with multi-platinum recording artist Brantley Gilbert, had his first single reach the top 10 iTunes Country Charts and made his Grand Ole Opry debut last month.
Military Service Recognition – During Combs' performance, members from each branch of service will take the field for an on-camera recognition. As each branch is recognized, service members will unfurl the branch's flag.
Home Free Performance – At halftime, Minnesota-based a cappella group Home Free will perform "God Bless the USA." The Mankato natives competed in and won season four of NBC's "The Sing-Off" and have placed two albums in Billboard's top 10 country charts. The group will embark on a 31-show "A Country Christmas" tour, including a Dec. 21 sold-out stop at Minneapolis' Northrup Auditorium.
Purple Hearts Reunited – During halftime, the team will ceremoniously reunite two families with Purple Hearts earned during service in World War I. The Minnesota-based families of Pfc Selvin Nygaard and 1st Lt. John Frederick Voge will receive the Purple Hearts earned when each man was injured fighting for coalition forces. The reunion is part of a project to return 100 WWI Purple Hearts before the 100th anniversary of the United States entering WWI, which will occur on April 6, 2017.
Delta Vikings Village & The Commons Park
Vikings Village opens: 9 a.m.
Delta Vikings Village Stage Timeline
Bella Diva, 9:30 a.m. to noon
SKOL Line Performance: 10 a.m.
Cheerleader Performance: 10:45 a.m.
Delta Vikings Village Activities:
Live Music – Performed by Bella Diva from 9:30 a.m. to noon
VCF Wheel of Fun – Promotional give-a-ways and VCF Silent Auction will be located at the corner of Chicago Avenue and South 4th Street.
Partner Activation Areas – Check out the fun activities our sponsors have planned in our Delta Vikings Village:
Century Link, Hy-Vee, KDWB, Medtronic, Mystic Lake, Polaris, State Farm, TCO, U.S. Bank and Verizon
The Longhouse, a 6,000-plus-square-foot-structure will open at 9:30 a.m. and close one hour after the game ends for fans with and without game tickets to enjoy the pregame celebrations. It will close one hour after the end of the game. Aramark will serve Miller Lite, Coors Light and Pepsi products inside the Longhouse. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
*Food Vendors: *
Aramark will be serving burgers, brats, hotdogs and wings from the brick building on Delta Vikings Village and from inside the Longhouse. There will be MillerCoors products and Pepsi products for sale throughout Delta Vikings Village and inside the Longhouse.
The Vikings Locker Room will have two merchandise trucks located in the Delta Vikings Village. The Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders will be selling their 2016 calendars throughout the morning in the Delta Vikings Village and the Commons.
Autographs will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Century Link Legends Autograph Zone in the Delta Vikings Village and on the Medtronic Plaza. Autographs are subject to change at any time and without notice. A game ticket is required to enter the Medtronic Plaza.
Century Link Legends Autograph Zone/Delta Vikings Village:
Jake Reed, wide receiver (1991-99, 2001)
Willie Howard, defensive line (2001-02)
Mike Morris, long snapper (1991-99)
*Vikings Rewards: *
Fans earn points for things that they already do and then redeem these points for unforgettable experiences and great prizes. Visit their booth on the Plaza to learn more and sign up.
A First Aid tent will be located on the Southeast end of the Commons at the corner of South 5th Street and Park Avenue.
*Bag Check: *
The cost of the bag check is $10 with all proceeds benefiting the Vikings Children's Fund. It will be located on the westerly block of the Commons. (Cash only).
The Commons Stage Timeline
Cheerleader Performance: 10 a.m.
SKOL Line Performance 10:15 a.m.
As part of the Salute to Service ceremonies, a skydiving team of former U.S. Navy SEALS is scheduled to land on the Commons at 11:15 a.m. and deliver the game ball.
Food Information: There will be three food trucks located on The Commons.
Face Painters – Unique and classic face painting opportunities provided for fans of all ages
Magician and Juggler — Strolling and on-stage entertainment
Viktor Football Toss
QB Challenge – Throw to your favorite targets, Kyle Rudolph, Adrian Peterson and Stefon Diggs
Inflatable Obstacle Course – Climb walls, dodge defenders, and finish by going down the slide
Play 60 Zone
Giant Inflatable Bag Toss
Giveaways –The first 1,000 fans will receive a Vikings Salute to Service flag.