People who said the pointy end of the new U.S. Bank Stadium reminded them of the prow of a Viking ship had apparently never seen a Viking ship. The stadium's promontory might be reminiscent of the bow of an ocean liner — the Queen Mary, say, or the Titanic — but not a Viking ship.
A true Viking ship is built low to the waterline, with a gracefully curving structure that culminates in an ornamental figurehead — why, yes, like that boat-sculpture the Vikings revealed Thursday for the stadium's Medtronic Plaza.
The new structure, dubbed the Legacy Ship, is undeniably like a Viking ship, with subtle differences:
• Viking ships probably had sails made of woolen sailcloth. This ship's sail will be a 2,000-square-foot LED video screen.
• Viking ships had decks made of wood planking. The Legacy Ship's deck will be paved with commemorative engraved bricks (available for purchase at www.vikings.com/bricks).
• The sides of Viking ships were hung with shields made of linden wood, buttressed by leather. The sides of the Legacy Ship are lined with round things that look like shields but are buttressed by the names of sponsors.
• According to a Vikings release, the Legacy Ship comes with "theatrical lighting, sounds and smoke effects." Actual Viking ships, known for their raids on Europe and beyond, created their sounds and smoke effects through nontheatrical means.
The Vikings' release quoted owner and President Mark Wilf as saying the team wanted "to give Vikings fans a new game day ritual and a perfect welcome to their unprecedented game experience." The ship is being financed by the Vikings with private funds.
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