A Mercedes-Benz Stadium Blog by Mike Gomes, SVP Fan Experience
I recently had the opportunity to tour the new stadium of the Minnesota Vikings. I walked away impressed with the design and attention paid to fan comfort, and I couldn’t help but get even more excited that our new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is going to be a sports and entertainment destination like no other. Regardless of the event you come to watch here, you will notice all of the design elements intended to make the stadium experience pleasant and comfortable.
One of the signature elements of the Vikings’ stadium is the glass-like material that lines one of the outer walls and roof. This feature allows the stadium to feel open with the sunshine and natural light filling the building. I think this may be one of the most underestimated parts of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Our Window to the City flanking one end of the stadium, natural light spilling onto the concourses and our retractable roof will make Mercedes-Benz Stadium feel open, airy, bright, and comfortable. It will be a stark contrast to the current feeling you have when walking around the Georgia Dome.
We have architected the entire stadium with fan comfort – your comfort – in mind. We have made our concourses wider and have created an ability to freely move up, down, and around the stadium on any level. We have more than double the number of escalators and elevators than the Georgia Dome, and our 200 and 300 level Skybridges provide an opportunity to circulate each level of the stadium regardless of the ticket you may have. That may seem like a basic design standard but you’d be surprised how many stadiums, including the Georgia Dome, place restrictions throughout their concourses that prevent fans from moving freely throughout the stadium. We aren’t just enabling that freedom in Mercedes-Benz Stadium; we are encouraging fans to explore the many amenities, experiences, and great food options we will have on all levels.
The Skybridges themselves will undoubtedly become popular social gathering places on gameday as will the several bars that provide open views to the field below. The largest social gathering space will be the 100,000 square foot Fan Plaza that will become a lively destination pre–game and allow you to move in and out of the stadium with ease. Attending a game or concert is indeed a social experience, and we have provided opportunities for you to enjoy the event with friends, family and fellow fans in these fun areas of the stadium.
The comfort elements extend to your seats as well. You’ll notice that the seats are wider than they are in the Georgia Dome with ample legroom. Two inches in width may not seem like much but when you sit in the new seats you realize they are much more comfortable and you don’t feel squeezed. As you look toward the field, in addition to the natural light pouring in from the open roof, the lights will feel softer and brighter due to the LED sports lighting that we are installing; much kinder on the eyes than the harsh metal halide lighting in the Dome and much more environmentally friendly.
All of us like going to places where we feel comfortable and welcomed – whether it’s your local coffee bar, your favorite restaurant, or your own home, we want Mercedes-Benz Stadium to be your home on gamedays. We have architected and designed the stadium with your comfort in mind; just another example of the Fan First approach we have taken with every single aspect of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium experience.