US Bank Stadium
Opened in 2016, US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis ranks among the NFL’s most distinctive venues and is held in passionate regard by the public. That’s no accident. Among the facility’s leading-edge features is a video control room purpose-built by Alpha to make Minnesota Vikings fans feel like an extension of the team.
Minnesota Vikings, US Bank Stadium
Fabrication & installation services
Audiovisual & control systems
Digital communications & media walls
Testing & programming
Service & support
How do you provide an “intimate experience” for 70,000 football fans? It was on Alpha to provide the answer, because that was the Minnesota Vikings’ measure of success for the video control room at the team’s new home in Minneapolis. A facility of unprecedented ambition, US Bank Stadium was designed from the ground up to provide a fan experience of extraordinary power, excitement and, yes, intimacy. The facility’s state-of-the-art video command center would be especially important in that effort. From here, the team wields sound, light and imagery to make fans feel as if they’re an extension of the team. Alpha draws on deep experience creating media control environments for stadiums, arenas and other large venues. But this challenge was special – maybe because the Alpha team members aren’t just technology specialists, many are purple-blooded locals, intent on delivering an experience worthy of the team we call our own.
Charged with making the fans priority one, Alpha focused on maximizing the immediacy of the experience by simplifying, streamlining, and supercharging every aspect of content creation and delivery. Video feeds were delivered to the Vikings’ master control room with state-of-the-art switchers and routers. The room was also equipped with four instant replay stations, each capable of accessing, recording, and playing back content sourced from the stadium’s 18 Sony cameras. Quick editing of live content was also a top priority, along with ultra-fast and reliable transmission of content back and forth between the control room and the Vikings’ training facility in suburban Eagan, Minnesota. Throughout the stadium, Alpha installed remotely controlled Sony PTZ cameras that enabled fans to see what was happening anywhere on the field in 4K clarity. Alpha also equipped Vikings social media staff and others with Williams Sound listening technology that allowed them to hear any routed audio source with no delay on their mobile devices.
After the inaugural season at US Bank Stadium, Vikings staffers described fan reaction through the first year as “off the charts.” Says the Vikings’ senior manager of production, Allan Wertheimer, “The players look to the fans and the fans look to us to drive the feeling of the building, and with this room we’re able to do that.” In the years since, Alpha has partnered with the Vikings to continually optimize the facility with the latest technology. It’s a partnership that has paid off, says, Bryan Harper. “Our experience with Alpha has been phenomenal. From the outset, they understood what our goals were and stayed on that path with us the whole way – looking out for us at every opportunity. That team-type mentality is one of the things that made this project so successful.” Alpha’s next assignment: Figuring out a way to realize the Vikings’ vision for a Super Bowl victory.