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New Vikings stadium forces injured players to be carried through a sports bar to the locker room

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In a marvelous new stadium, the Vikings have a glaring flaw.

The Vikings’ brand new $1.1 billion stadium was on display for the first time Sunday as Minnesota christened it with a game and a victory against the Packers. It has some marvelous features, like how it apparently routes noise from visiting fans directly back to the visiting locker room.

There are "snow shields" on the roof that prevent ice and snow from falling off, melting it instead and funneling the water down through drainage systems. There’s tons of obtuse and acute angles. You can rightfully complain that $500 million of the stadium’s funding came from taxpayer’s dollars. But as far as the stadium itself goes, it’s wonderful architecture.

There’s also this field-level restaurant/bar that players walk through getting from the locker room to the field. As the team runs out during pregame, that’s a cool feature. When you have to carry injured players back through that same tunnel to return to the locker room, it’s not.

According to the Vikings, this is the shortest, quickest way to the locker room, although there is another tunnel that leads there. Peterson refused a cart on the sidelines, so trainers chose to take him through this bar area on floor level, where the footage of him was caught clearly by cameras. That's an unfortunate look.

It turns out Peterson's injury isn't as bad as originally thought, but what about the next player who is seriously injured? Injured players take precedent, but you could even argue any player shouldn’t have to deal with this after an emotional loss. Give them 15 minutes from the end of the game until they shower off in the locker room to wind down away from the public and television cameras.

U.S. Bank Stadium has great, unique features, but this specific one seems shortsighted.

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