PHOTOS: Transforming TCF Bank stadium for the Vikings - KMSP-TV

PHOTOS: Transforming TCF Bank stadium for the Vikings

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The massive steel beams may be going up at the future home of the Vikings, but it'll still be a couple of years before they can stay there. In the interim, they'll be at TCF Bank stadium -- and it's changing to welcome them.

The Minnesota Vikings put up $5 million to get the University of Minnesota's field ready for NFL players and fans -- and Fox 9 News got a first look at some of the improvements that will be seen during the first preseason game on Friday.


Click the image above to see the full-size photo

The Minnesota Vikings have played at The Bank before. When the roof of the Metrodome collapsed under the weight of heavy snow, the frozen field forced Brett Favre from the game and effectively ended his professional career. This time around, the stadium will be much different.


FUN FACT: The elevation change from the Metrodome will be 2,900 feet, which is the horizontal equivalent to Adrian Peterson's rushing yards during the 2011 season.

Since the spring Gopher Game in April, the U has been renovating the stadium to make sure it's ready for the big leagues. Upgrades included tearing out the old turf and installing 38 miles of heating tubes below a field that won't freeze.

"We looked at heating the field, but by the time we're done around Thanksgiving, the average temp is 40 degrees. So, it really never became a huge issue with design," Associate Athletic Director Scott Ellison explained. "But with the Vikings going into December, it needs to be done."

The most noticeable changes will on the field, because the Vikings will have to paint both end zones purple instead of gold and white. The Vikings Logo will be put down on the 50-yard line, as well as numbers and hashtags on game days. Stadium workers will learn how fast they can scrub and repaint the field after Friday's pre-season game because the Gophers have a scrimmage on Saturday.

"We're still trying to figure out how long it's going to take," Ellison admitted. "It's a quick flip. It's going to be an all-nighter for them. Hard to say how many man hours."

The U has also added more than 1,700 bleacher seats in the west end of the stadium so that the total possible attendance can top 52,000. With new heaters in the bathrooms and loge level boxes on the 4th floor, and officials hope those upgrades will get fans to warm up to the idea of outdoor football.

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