The esteemed sports writers at The Athletic recently released their official ranking of the best home venues in the NFL and U.S. Bank Stadium topped the list. This is the second straight honor for the home of the Minnesota Vikings, with the stadium also topping the list in The Athletics’ previous stadium ranking in 2020.
Particularly interesting is that U.S. Bank seemed to run away with the top billing from The Athletic. Per the article, half of the voters placed it at no. 1 in their rankings. The stadium is no longer the newest in the NFL, with new homes of large market teams like the Raiders, Rams, and Falcons all opening since U.S. Bank’s inaugural season in 2016. The fact that the Vikings’ home remains ranked above these newer stadiums in larger cities is a testament to greatness of the gameday experience and facilities at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Athletic highlight’s the natural feel of the indoor stadium thanks to its transparent ceiling as one of its highlights. From Alec Lewis, The Athletic reporter:
“Maybe it’s the natural light that drifts in from the front end of the stadium through crystal glass. Or, maybe it’s particular dimensions that make the inside feel right — not like a gigantic warehouse, and not like a claustrophobic cave. The history of the franchise and the Skol chants and the fake snow all contribute to the overall experience. But the stadium, in general, is the perfect representation of what an indoor arena should look and feel like on a Sunday.”
The Athletics ranking is just the latest national honor that the Vikings have been given unrelated to their actual on-field performance. In March, the Vikings were graded by the NFL Players Association as the top performing team in the organizations first annual team report card. The report card, which was released ahead of free agency, sought to grade teams on their performance in categories such as treatment of families, nutrition, weight room, strength staff, training room, training staff, locker rooms and travel. The Vikings were the only team which received an A- or better in every category.
The Athletic and the NFLPA’s honors are an example of how the Vikings – and the Wilf family in particular – have invested in the team, the players and the fans. With top-tier facilities on gameday and practice day, the Vikings are a league leading organization and hopefully this investment will pay off with more players seeing Minnesota as a desirable destination.