Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 5/13/13
MINNEAPOLIS Touting its versatile use and environmental features, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minneapolis Sports Facilities Authority and HSK Sports and Entertainment unveiled the design of the new Vikings stadium to be built on the site of the current Metrodome in Minneapolis. Using glass to present an airy feel, HSK, the stadium's architect will feature a clear fixed-roof and a set of retractable doors. "We think clear is the new retractable," said HSK's Bryan Trubey. The stadium will seat 65,000 people for football, with the ability to expand to 73,000 for the potential of hosting a Super Bowl, along with use for baseball, soccer, and the possibility and hope of drawing NCAA basketball's Final Four. "This will be the most versatile structure on the planet," Trubey said in laying out several pictures of possible usage. Construction is slated to begin in October. The Metrodome, where the team will play its final season in 2013, is slated to be torn down in "Early 2014" to finish the rest of the construction. The Vikings have agreed with the University of Minnesota to play in TCF Bank Stadium on the campus for two seasons and the new stadium is scheduled to open in 2016. "We're excited for the kind of building that is very airy and great for fans," said Vikings' co-owner Mark Wilf during a presentation Monday. "We couldn't be more excited to have the kind of iconic venue were going to have there." The stadium will feature two large high definition video boards, called "two of the largest video boards in the NFL" that will measure 50 feet tall and 120 feet wide. The retractable feature, which has garnered much debate since the team and state agreed to the financing in May 2012, will be large glass doors, the largest glass, pivoting doors in the world, according to Trubey. "This is a complex, living, breathing structure," Trubey said. "Geography has a significant impact on everything we do." The roof will be slanted, partially to help alleviate the weight of snow fall during the winter, with half of the roof being clear glass to provide the airy atmosphere. There will be seven levels in the new stadium, with two levels of general admission. The stadium will include 125 suites and 7,500 club seats. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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