Sunday, September 18, 2016 was a night to remember in Minnesota Vikings history. The Vikings played their first ever official game at the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, September 18, 2016 against their biggest rival, the Green Bay Packers, on a nationally televised Sunday Night Football. The stage was set to be an epic event and I have the good fortune to once again be an official photographer for the Vikings this season. I had been anticipating this event for the last 2+ years once the Metrodome was torn down. However, right before the season started my ability to be at this monumental game was in question. About 5 or 6 months ago, I had planned a trip to New York City in mid-September before the NFL schedule was out. Just my luck, my trip just happened to land right over top of this game. So I did what I had to do in order to make the game; I booked a flight out of New York in the middle of my trip to fly back for the Vikings game and then flew back to New York the next morning. I was flying 4 times in the span of 5 days and my return trip back to New York was done on 2 hours of sleep after the Vikings game, but it was worth every bit of effort it took to be able to document and witness the one and only time U.S. Bank Stadium would be officially opened by the Vikings. And what an epic event it was…
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The excitement and anticipation by the fans outside the stadium before the game was thick in the air. It was immediately apparent that this game had a different feeling than other games I had attended.
Vikings legends were on hand to help lead a new Vikings tradition called the Vikings Skol Chant that involves coordinated clapping with drum hits.
The national anthem was sung by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.
Prior to the game, I setup two remote cameras that I could trigger from the field in order to capture stadium-wide views of the various events. For normal games I would only setup one remote camera, but Nikon loaned me another camera for this game.
During halftime, the Vikings had the Minnesota Orchestra put on a performance with a projected video show right on top of the field. The performance also included a tribute to Prince where members of his band performed alongside the Orchestra. I had never seen anything like it at a football game before.
The game itself managed to live up to the hype as well.
Sam Bradford, the Vikings new high profile trade pickup after Teddy Bridgewater was injured right before the season started, also made his Vikings debut.
Here is a timelapse I shot of the game as well using a GoPro I mounted near the top of the stadium:
The Vikings won in exciting fashion by a score of 17-14 after an interception late in the game by Trae Waynes to seal the victory. The entire event was an amazing spectacle and could have hardly gone better. It was very special to document this piece of Vikings history. Here are some of my other favorite photos from the game:
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