No place like home — Vikings 23-10 over San Diego!

FitzbeatsquareSince 1982, the MetroDome was home to Minnesota Vikings football. U.S. Bank Stadium is now the spectacular new home on the old Dome site.

Since training camp, the Vikings have been wearing black tee-shirts reading “No-Excuses.” That will serve as the theme into 2016 and the new horizon of Vikings football.

The Vikings, with 66,143 fans in U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday, improved to 3-0 in the pre-season. Thursday night in prime time the Vikings go for 4-0 when they host the Los Angeles Rams at 7 pm.

This new home has totally changed the culture of Vikings football. The old parking lot days of tailgating at the original Vikings home, Met Stadium, are gone.

The Vikings have long been Minnesota’s most popular professional sports team. After four Super Bowls and years of playoff heartbreaks, it’s corporate high rollers now or bust.

The so-called average Vikings family fan on a budget has blown past the middle class.

Expectations on the field fueled by last year’s 11-5 NFC North Division title over 10-9 Seattle’s pain, coinciding with the fantasy-like new home in U.S. Bank Stadium, have allowed the Vikings to sell super expectations with suites at field level that all but touch the players and seat licenses requiring that big money be invested before buying your season tickets.

Many longtime loyal season ticket holders have had to pass on the sizzle. Some are prioritizing by not saving for Johnny going to college or giving up the cabin up north or the boat on Lake Minnetonka.

Has U.S. Bank Stadium allowed the Vikings to change for the better by joining New York, Dallas, New England, Denver, Washington and Arizona? All the big guys with great venues are doing it.

Wine and cheese? Just for starters, how about prime cut U.S. filet, lobster, the best desserts and the finest spirits available? The Vikings are still one of 32. However, U.S. Bank Stadium and the wealth generation have put the Vikings in a league of their own.

Minneapolis parking on the street within three miles of U.S. Bank Stadium on Vikings game days costs $25 for three hours. Yes, the game has changed.

 

Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.