Some Vikings fans are already feeling nostalgic for their Metrodome tailgating traditions as they gathered to get the party started before Sunday's last home opener at the Metrodome. KSTP reports they flocked to the lots within walking distance of the stadium in downtown Minneapolis to begin the bittersweet farewell.
"A couple tears in my eye," joked one tailgating fan. "But I sneezed earlier!"
The Pioneer Press reports that the 10,000 fans who typically show up before kickoff to grill, sing, drink and show off all things purple may have fewer tailgating options at the new stadium. Many adjacent parking lots are targeted for development, including parking ramps and new commercial and residential buildings.
The paper reported that when the team surveyed more than 3,000 ticket buyers, it found that 64 percent of them regarded tailgating as a "very important" part of game day. Nearly three-fourths said they tailgate at least once each season.
Chuck Lutz, deputy director of the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development for the city of Minneapolis, says fans will have to adapt to changes around the new site. In advance of the stadium's debut, a city task force will look at competing interests between tailgaters, the team, property owners and neighbors.
The city suggests a new two-block public park that will be created as part of the development may be an option for the pre-game partiers, but some diehard tailgaters say that their festivities belong in parking lots, not parks.