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By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - With a crowd of nearly 1,100 fans and local dignitaries on hand, the Minnesota Vikings (in association with HKS Sports & Entertainment and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority) unveiled the design renderings for their nearly $1 Billion ($975 million) football stadium Monday night at the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis.
The stadium (pictured above) features a mix of technological innovations mixed with modern design and LEED (Leading in Energy and Environmental Design) certified features. While the retractable roof did not make it into the final design, the stadium features an angled roof that will include the largest clear ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof that will allow sunlight and natural heat through during events in the stadium.
"We think clear is the new retractable," HKS official Bryan Trubey said during Monday's presentation. "The design reflects the true story of the Minnesota community with its international style driven by climatic response and energy conservation. The interior volume makes it the most versatile, multi‐use building in the country with the most advanced digital age technology."
The new facility will however feature a retractable feature. Facing the downtown Minneapolis skyline, the western wall will feature 95-foot pivoting glass doors that will allow nature air flow through the stadium on warm weather days. The doors, the largest such feature in the world, will be the first of their kind in the United States of America.
Throughout the design process, HKS identified four major influencers that shaped the functional form and architecture of the building: climate, geography, history of important civic structures and technology.
The new stadium will be capable of hosting more events than any other large stadium in the world. Despite its versatility, the stadium’s football configuration puts the fans closer to the field than in any other NFL stadium.
Trubey went on to call the new Vikings stadium "the most versatile structure on the planet."
Current plans open the new stadium up for use by the Super Bowl, MLS soccer, NCAA basketball and baseball, high school sporting events, motocross, concerts, conventions, marching band competitions, monster truck rallies and much more.
The 1.6 million square foot structure (nearly twice the size of the Metrodome) will house 65,000 seats and will be expandable to 73,000 for The Super Bowl and other large scale events.
Seven levels will include 125 suits and 7,500 club including both suites and clubs on the field level.
Two 50 foot by 120 foot high definition screens will be placed on either end of the stadium and over 1,200 HD flat screen televisions will be placed throughout the concourse and club levels.
On hand for the evening's festivities, Vikings center John Sullivan shared his excitement at seen the new design.
"It's awesome," Sullivan said. "As a tax paying resident of the State of Minnesota, this seems like a good way to spend our tax dollars."
Officials will break ground on the new stadium project this coming October and the Metrodome is scheduled to be razed shortly after the end of the Vikings 2013 season. The new Vikings stadium is scheduled to open in time for the Vikings 2016 season.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings' updates and breaking Vikings' news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN