High Five – Minnesota Vikings

High Five game review from the Minnesota Vikings game on September 24th, 2023 . We look at how the Vikings script their show to maximize the impact of a powerful pre-game and their incredible stadium.

Our “High Five” series looks at five stand out elements from live game reviews around the country, along with assorted features and notes from our on-site visit.  This game review was done by Editor Jon Cudo a on September 24th, 2023.

US Bank Stadium Viking Ship Minneapolis ©Lauri Novak

Here are a quick points about the team, staff and the evening before we get to our High Five list.

US Bank Stadium opened in 2016, replacing the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome.  The billion dollar fixed-roof stadium was named the NFL’s best venue by The Athletic and it massive structured built to optimize natural light and allows seating for nearly 67,000 fans.  While it a multi-purpose venue, the building is outfitted to reflect the branding of the primary tenant Minnesota Vikings.

For a Minnesota native who grew up at the Metrodome, the most amazing part of the stadium is its raw size.  Its nearly twice as tall, the footprints is double the original Metrodome’s size and it is roughly double the square footage. (see this page for more)

For the game presentation space, the most telling stat is this:

  • Metrodome:  2 scoreboards with 1,292 sq feet.
  • US Bank Stadium: 2 scoreboards with 12,560 sq feet.

Clearly the video experience is a super-sized part of the Vikings experience, referred to internally as SkolVision.

The building also featured some large-scale props (notably drums and the gjallarhorn) in this cavernous stadium home to the Nordic-themed NFL team.

Giant Drun

The Vikings show relies heavily on their video production, which is elite.  Their show is highlighted with a 17 minutes production leading into the kick-off. They refer to this window as SHOWTIME.  The team has an innovative streak and a willingness to go BIG with everything they do. Inside the massive stadium it would easy for elements to get lost or feel small, but the Vikings find ways to make their production fill the room.

The team also leans heavily into their rich history, team mythology and history. Videos run showcasing the Metropolitan Stadium era with snow banks on the sidelines, stories from players about intimidating rivals with the outdoor elements and packages reflecting on the team Legends.

The Vikings also have an innovative streak, cultivating useful traditions and experimenting all around their show.  Snow is part of the team lore.  The new indoor building mutes that story, but the team has found a way to drop snow inside as part of their pre-game introductions.  The effect isn’t overpowering, but it is an indicator of a team who is trying to innovate within the story they are telling.

The game also included an incredible anthem performance by local artist Monique Blakey. (link to video)

Our High Five Reviews focus on five ways the Vikings create a powerful home field advantage and grow the value of their events with a vibrant entertainment package.

Here are our Five Highlights from the Minnesota Vikings:

  1. Committed to SHOWTIME!
  2. Strong Useful Traditions
  3. EVERYONE gets their Moment
  4. Mascot vs PeeWees Never Fails

1. Committed to SHOWTIME! 

The Viking make the entire experience feel important, starting with a major emphasis on a their 17-minute pre-show window called “Showtime”.  This block of programed content that ramps up energy from 17 mins before the start of the game and peaks exactly as the kicker’s foot strikes the ball.

The team tells fans that this 17 minutes is critical and they 100% deliver on the promise.

The Vikings do this with a one-hour countdown to SHOWTIME.  The pre-show is broken into quarters and every 15 mins fans are reminded of the impending showcase. These segments include significant programming that is both timely and beautifully produced.  Video elements feature multiple camera angle, studio lighting, high production values and graphics and most are shot that week.  Interviews with players featured questions related to last week’s game and the current opponent, making the show feel important and timely, not canned or generic.

6o Min Countdown to Showtime

Using the pattern of every 15 minutes to remind fans of this start to the show makes the entire run-up to the game feel important. And it sets up Showtime and the kick-off up to be the start of something magical.  Many teams pack their pre-show blocks in a similar banner, but the countdown clock not only made the Showtime segment (from 17:00 to zero) feel like MUST-SEE content, it made the whole hour feel more important.

The hour before Showtime raises the stakes and tell fans to be in their seats for the launch of the show…and Showtime focuses and peaks the energy to the moment the kicker’s foot strikes the ball.

The impact is jaw-dropping.  The noise-level at kick off bordered on uncomfortable and was among the loudest I have ever encountered at a sporting event.  The timing, energy, focus and show-content created this perfect storm of home-field advantage and creates a remarkable fan experience.

It all starts with telling your fans what’s important.

Then when you deliver the impacts are even greater.

See Page Two for Creating Useful Traditions and Giving All your Elements a Moment in the Sun

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