The first game in the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium was a success for the home crowd, with the Minnesota Vikings improving to 2-0 by defeating their rival Green Bay Packers, 17-14, on Sunday Night Football.
After the game, many Vikings players and coaches praised the fans for providing a big noise advantage. Except offensive lineman Alex Boone, who thinks the crowd went a little overboard.
"It's loud, for some reason, in the stadium," Boone said, via ESPN’s Ben Goessling. "There's a lot of times where we can't hear the center. We could barely hear the snap count today a couple times -- a couple false starts, because guys wouldn't know when the snap was going. I'm not saying it's the fans' fault, but I'm just saying, it would be nice if they would shut the f--- up a little bit."
The Vikings committed four false start penalties in the game, while the Packers didn’t commit any. Still, most players seemed happy about the increased crowd noise from the Minnesota faithful, even if they admitted it wasn’t always timely.
"That’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve probably ever played in," Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford told reporters. "A lot of people talk about Seattle being loud, but tonight this building was rocking. Our fans were tremendous and I think a lot of credit goes to them. [The Packers] were having a hard time communicating and there were times we were having a hard time communicating because it was so loud in there, but it’s fun when you get to play in atmospheres like that."
The new $1.1 billion stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl LII in Feb. 2018 and earned rave reviews in its debut, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell telling reporters it "exceeded his expectations."
Boone expected to be loud and told reporters earlier in the week that the "electricity is probably going to be through the roof." But for as bad as it was for the Vikings, it was likely even louder on the Packers sideline, thanks to the shape of the ceiling in the stadium which funnels sound to the visitor's sideline.
On Sunday night, the Vikings set a home attendance record with 66,813 fans taking in the action. In the previous two seasons, the team played at TCF Bank Stadium — the home of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers — and averaged just 52,238 fans in 2014 and 52,430 in 2015.