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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The last time the Vikings played their border rivals, it was to close the 2015 regular season and a division championship was on the line. The next time the Vikings play the Green Bay Packers it will be to open their home slate of games in 2016. While a division title won't be on the line, there will be plenty of pomp and circumstance because the game will mark the Vikings first regular season contest in U.S. Bank Stadium.
The game will be played on Sunday, Sept. 18 and will be NBC's Sunday Night Football game, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. CT. After going 2-0 on Sunday Night Football in 2015, the Vikings are 17-17 all-time on Sunday nights. This year's home opener will mark the sixth time the Vikings and Packers have met in that time slot.
The Vikings and Packers split last year's regular season series, with each winning on the other team's home turf. It was the Vikings, though, who won the more critical game when they took care of business in Week 17 at Lambeau Field with a NFC North-clinching 20-13 win to end the Packers four-year reign atop the division and capture Minnesota's first division title since 2009.
The Vikings-Packers rivalry is a classic one that dates back to the Vikings inception in 1961. But the first renewal of the rivalry this year will have added flare with the Vikings opening a new era of football in their brand-new venue. After playing two seasons at the University of Minnesota, the Vikings have moved into their state-of-the-art building.
U.S. Bank Stadium is the third permanent home for the franchise after they played from 1961-1981 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington and spent 1982-2013 at the Metrodome on the current site of U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings were victorious in the openers of both of their previous stadiums, upsetting the Chicago Bears 37-13 at Met Stadium in 1961 and topping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-10 in 1982.
The Week 2 contest will be the first regular season NFL game at U.S. Bank Stadium, but the building will play host to a number of marquee events leading up to the home opener. Italian power A.C. Milan and defending Premier League champions Chelsea will meet on Aug. 3 in what will be the inaugural sporting event at U.S. Bank Stadium, and then Luke Bryan (Aug. 19) and Metallica (Aug. 20) will play concerts in the Vikings new home. The Vikings will also play two preseason games in the building – one on Sunday, Aug. 28 against the San Diego Chargers and another on Thursday night, Sept. 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
View aerial images updated from both the northeast corner and then the southwest corner, showcasing the progress at U.S. Bank Stadium. Updated from late June of 2016.