After years of political wrangling over a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, fans finally got a chance to tell the man who will be designing it what they want to see at the so-called "People's Stadium."
The first listening session was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Monday, and that's where fans got to meet the Mark Williams, an Iowa native and Vikings fan who spent years going to games at the Old Met stadium and the Metrodome.
When asked how he feels about designing the team's new home for a new generation of football fans, he replied, "In one word, 'ecstatic.'"
Williams, the lifelong Vikings fan, got an earful during the listening session, but his firm -- HKS -- has designed two of the NFL's signature stadiums, including the Cowboys' new high-tech home outside Dallas and the more conservative Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
"We are going to start at square one, and that's the right way to do it," he promised. "We are going to look at everything."
Williams showed off a couple of concepts. One featured a lot of glass to incorporate both the sky and the skyline, but a second, more avant-garde design looked like a series of ribbons with wood panels; however, Williams says nothing is set in stone this early in the process. Drawings aren't expected until next year.
Regardless of whether or not it has a retractable roof, fans say they hope Williams will remember who the "People's Stadium" is really for.
A couple hundred people turned out for the first listening session, and two more will be held in Duluth and Rochester.
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