10 Great Moments in Minnesota Stadium History

For immediate release

Release dated: 
August 25, 2016
Media contacts: 

Jessica Kohen, Minnesota Historical Society, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org
Lauren Peck, Minnesota Historical Society, 651-259-3137, lauren.peck@mnhs.org

10 Great Moments in Minnesota Stadium History

Explore more history with ‘Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,’ Sept. 24, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017 at the Minnesota History Center

The Minnesota Vikings kick off their first preseason home game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 28 against the San Diego Chargers. With this first game, the new stadium becomes a part of Minnesota’s storied pro football history:  

  • Oct. 30, 1921 The first-ever professional football game in Minnesota is played at Nicollet Park in Minneapolis, as the Minneapolis Marines trounce the Columbus Panhandles 28–0.
  • Aug. 23, 1923 In their inaugural season in the NFL, the Duluth Kelleys open the year with a 10–7 victory over the Akron Pros in front of a packed crowd at Athletic Park in Duluth, near today’s Wade Stadium.
  • Sept. 12, 1951 The Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers square off in an NFL exhibition game at Minneapolis’s Parade Stadium, with more than 19,000 fans in attendance.
  • Sept. 15, 1956 Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, built as the home of the Minneapolis Millers minor league baseball team, hosts a preseason football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Sept. 17, 1961 Less than nine months after entering the NFL as an expansion team, the Minnesota Vikings play their first regular season home game at Metropolitan Stadium, defeating the Chicago Bears 37–13.
  • Sept. 12, 1982 The Vikings secure a 17–10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL regular season debut of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
  • Dec. 12, 2010 A major snowfall causes the Metrodome’s roof to collapse, marking the fifth roof collapse in the stadium’s history.
  • Dec. 3, 2013 The Vikings hold a ceremonial groundbreaking to start construction on their new 66,000-seat, 1.75 million square foot facility in downtown Minneapolis on the site of the Metrodome.
  • Aug. 8, 2014 The Vikings kick off their temporary residence at TCF Bank Stadium, on the University of Minnesota campus, with a 10–6 preseason triumph over the Oakland Raiders. The team plays home games there for two seasons while U.S. Bank Stadium is being built.
  • Aug. 3, 2016 European soccer teams A.C. Milan and Chelsea F.C. face off in the first major event at U.S. Bank Stadium, as part of the International Champions Cup.

Find out more about pro football history in Minnesota and throughout the nation with the new exhibit “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Sept. 24, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017 at the Minnesota History Center. An online press kit is available.

Coming November--U.S. Bank Stadium: The New Home of the Minnesota Vikings. Published in association with the Vikings, this book by journalist Steve Berg offers a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium’s design, construction, and impressive features--and how it is revitalizing a long-neglected area of downtown. The book is available for pre-order now at shop.mnhs.org.

About the exhibit
Organized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the exhibit features more than 200 artifacts, photos and rare documents, footage from the NFL Film archives and interactive experiences. A section of the exhibit will be devoted to the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp, where visitors can work on their vertical leap, broad jump, kicking and passing games.

Artifacts include the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Knute Rockne’s 1919 Massillon Tigers helmet, Jim Brown’s game-worn jersey, Jerry Rice’s career touchdown receptions record football, Emmitt Smith’s rushing record game artifacts, and iconic artifacts, photos and film footage from the storied history of the Minnesota Vikings. The exhibit also includes a display of seating from the Met, Metrodome and U.S.Bank stadiums.

Check the online calendar of events for related programs.

Exhibit and Program Support
“Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” is made possible in part by the Legacy Amendment through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008. The Training Camp section of the exhibit is sponsored by the Minnesota Vikings. Major sponsorship is provided by Comcast. Media support is provided by KARE-11 and the Star Tribune.

Location, Hours and Admission
The Minnesota History Center is located at 345 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul. Exhibit gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Admission to “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 5 to 17, and $5 discount for MNHS members. The History Center’s free Tuesday admission from 3 to 8 p.m. does not include access to “Gridiron Glory.” Online tickets will be available beginning July 1 at www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/gridironglory.

Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or 1-800-657-3773.

About the Minnesota History Center
The Minnesota History Center holds the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. The History Center is home to an innovative museum, engaging public programs, a research library, distinctive gift shops and the new Market House by D’Amico cafe.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history. Visit us at www.mnhs.org

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.