First off I must say this: the new Vikings Stadium is much more than a football stadium. On May 15, HKS Architects unveiled what the newest facility in Minnesota will look like. In short, they showed the facility as a baseball, hockey, concert and even basketball venue. In my opinion, it is nothing short of spectacular. After looking at all the renderings and the video, here are just a few things that I like and some accessibility thoughts.
The stadium will have a clear, fixed roof on one side, which will provide lots of light, and a deck on the other. One of the most brilliant features will be on the Downtown end where five 90-foot tall glass doors will open to the plaza to give fans a view of Downtown and provide access to the huge plaza. This facility will have 65,000 seats (could be transformed to 73,000) with seven decks. Three decks will have suites and it looks like there are even suites on field level! As for video displays, there will be two huge scoreboards at each end and ribbon boards throughout the complex.
There are a couple of things that I must point out about accessibility features. I strongly recommend putting ADA seating right behind the end zone where the facility meets the plaza. This area would be one of the best places to put handicap seating in the entire stadium because it will be close to the event and it just makes perfect sense. Also, there seems to be a divider on the first level. ADA seats should be placed there, along with handicap seats on each level. Finally, for now, I hope the Vikings choose to use folding chairs for companion seats. There have been no accessibility details yet, but I am researching and will report back on this blog with updates.
There are numerous things the Vikings and HKS can do with this stadium and I hope they make the right decisions. In the picture below, where would you put ADA seating?
Written by: Michael L. Sack