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Vikings unveil design for ‘showstopper’ ship outside new stadium (pic)

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The Minnesota Vikings will move into their new $1.1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis next season and this week unveiled a design for a Viking ship that will sit outside the state-of-the-art facility that team officials are billing as a “showstopper.”

Funded privately, the massive ship will be erected near the five pivoting glass doors of U.S. Bank Stadium and unlike the one that sits outside the team’s current Winter Park headquarters, this one has some amazing technological bells and whistles.

The 55-foot high sail consists of a 2,000 square-foot, curved LED screen and the dragon’s head with Vikings’ horns located on the bow of the ship will measure 43 feet high and has purple eyes that light up.

Vikings vice president Tanya Dreesen pointed out the ship celebrates both Minnesota’s strong Nordic heritage and also honors the team’s longstanding identity.

No expense clearly has been spared not only in the construction the actual stadium, but the grounds that surround the mammoth structure. Team president Mark Wilf, when speaking of the design, said the old, rickety Vikings ship located outside the team’s Winter Park headquarters in Eden Prairie “always been a favorite stop for visiting Vikings fans,” adding the team “wanted to recreate the feature in a significantly enhanced way at U.S. Bank Stadium in order to give Vikings fans a new game day ritual and a perfect welcome to their unprecedented game experience.”

The “Legacy Ship” also “will include seating and stainless steel railings, along with 150 linear feet of displays, including a timeline exhibit featuring historical Minnesota moments and site directories to aid in wayfinding,” per a team release.

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Fancy, indeed. To put it mildly.

(all images courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)