View renderings of the "Vikings Voyage", a dynamic interactive digital fan experience currently under construction inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings on Thursday announced the Vikings Voyage, a dramatic and interactive space inside U.S. Bank Stadium where the team's lore will come alive.
The Voyage covers 10,000 of the 1.75-million square feet in the boldly designed and nearly complete home of the Vikings. The team is covering all costs of the Voyage, which are several million dollars, to take fans' experiences to unexplored levels.
"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," Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said. "The Voyage will bring fans together, allowing them to engage with their family and friends while celebrating Vikings history."
The Voyage will be the intersection of tradition and technology.
It will honor the heritage of this region, celebrate Vikings legends and showcase rare memorabilia.
"In 2016 and beyond, you're going to see the Vikings really embracing our mascot, the Viking warrior in a very real way, not only because it's a symbol of our cultural heritage of this region, but it's a great symbol of sort of the relentless determination of the people of the North," Vikings Director of Brand & Creative Erin Swartz said. "It exemplifies who we are."
This will be carried out in the Voyage under the themes of The Fleet, The Forge and The Fight.
Fans will have opportunities to run shuttle drills, test their vertical jumps, catch passes using a virtual reality device and crash into a blocking pad that measures impact force to show their strength.
Results can be tracked with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system in a silicon bracelet they can keep as a souvenir and measure up to family members, friends, other Vikings fans and the marks posted by players at the NFL Combine with.
If fans tire, they'll be able to grab a seat on the bench in a "larger-than-life experience" alongside Purple People Eaters Jim Marshall, Alan Page, Carl Eller and Gary Larsen in a sculpture cast from an iconic photo.
A ship hull with a projection screen that measures 27 feet wide will immerse fans into archived footage and modern video features. The Voyage also will include an NFL-first transparent OLED uniform interactive that will showcase changes in equipment and materials over the course of the franchise's history.
"This experience center mirrors everything we've been talking about with our values system: being progressive, unifying with the community and being relentless," said Vikings VP of Partnerships Activation & Special Projects Tanya Dreesen during an unveiling of the Voyage to members of the media.
Swartz said the timing of the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium allowed a team of Vikings employees to deeply survey available technology to see, "What innovations are available to us right now that we can utilize in this space?"
View some unique high-res renderings of U.S. Bank Stadium, including a look minus the roof and with a corner cut away.
"We know we want to tell a story, but first, let's talk about the technology that's there and what fun things we can do, so things like virtual reality, for example, to the level we can do that now is kind of exciting," Swartz said. "Technology is going to trace your body as it jumps in the air or watch if you're catching a pass, and we expect it to get better."
One unique tribute will be to Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, who became the second NFL player to record 1,000 career catches.
"We get to celebrate one of the best Vikings warriors in our history, Cris Carter, and his amazing 1,000 career catches," Swartz said. "We'll be symbolizing his 1,000 catches with 1,000 chrome-plated footballs suspended from the ceiling."
The Voyage is located above the official team store on the west side of the stadium. The Voyage experience is free, and it will be open before, during and after home games and during any Vikings special events. It will be closed during non-Vikings events.