When a Stadium Isn’t a Stadium

The Vikings showed off renderings of their new stadium Monday night. It is our $1 billion temple purpose-built to the football gods, a place to stand for 30 years or so as our monument to our perpetually mediocre professional football team.

And it’s just butt ugly.


I’m not even sure that it looks like a stadium. From this angle it looks like some ultra-modern museum or greenhouse or glacier which dwarfs everything in the immediate vicinity. It’s grey and glassy and somehow heavy and light-looking all at the same time.

So let’s look from above:


Ah yes, Much better. From this view, it’s an angular alien pod which has swallowed up 65,000 seats and is preparing to make its assault on the remainder of downtown. Half of the structure is glass–or, as I read the details on the design, a high-tech plastic–while the other half is presumably a gunship grey metal.

I know that a large part of the point of the architecture in these structures now is the desire to make them stand out from what has come before, and help keep them from showing their age too much in the future. But this seems to make no recognition of what its purpose is. But, according to the presentation, we’ll take great civic pride in its uniqueness: 95 foot rotating doors, asymmetrical design, and the desire to bring the outdoors inside without it actually being an outdoor space.

Just wait until those first preseason games when scores of people will get sunburns without realizing they were sitting in the sun for 3-plus hours.

Oh well. It’s what the team wants. And it should keep them here for another 30 years or more until they start whining for whatever the new trend in stadiums is by then.

See you tomorrow.