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Minnesota Vikings release renderings of new stadium

However controversially, the Minnesota Vikings closed the 31-year old Metrodome after this season and have broken ground on a new home at a price tag of $975 million. The new stadium, the Vikings are using the working title of New Minnesota Stadium, is slated to open in 2016 (the Vikings will borrow the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium in the meantime) will be in downtown Minneapolis and, from the artistic renderings released Friday, looks every bit like you'd expect a stadium opening in 2016 to look. For one thing, it looks like Noah's Ark. 

The new structure will have a capacity of 65,400 (the Metrodome held 64,000 for football) but can expand up to 72,000. Despite housing roughly the same capacity, New Minnesota Stadium will occupy nearly twice the space, gobbling up 1.75 million square feet - nearly double the Metrodome's 900,000. 

The Metrodome hosted the Super Bowl in 1992 and the Final Four in 1992 and 2001, and you can believe the new stadium will put Minneapolis back in the mix for major events moving forward. (The Metrodome also hosted the 1985 MLB All-Star Game and the World Series in 1987 and 1991, but the Twins have their own venue now.)

You've got to hand it to the people of the Twin Cities. Since 2000, the area has managed to build the Minnesota Wild's Xcel Energy Center in 2000, the Gophers' TCF Bank Stadium in 2009, the Twins' Target Field in 2010 and now this. Only the Timberwolves are playing in a facility not built in this century; the Target Center was built in the prehistoric time known as 1990.

Now, onto the renderings.

An up-close shot at the facade.

A good shot at how the stadium fits into downtown Minneapolis. You can also see where the Noah's Ark comparison comes from.

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A game day view from field level.

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A better view of the entire stadium on game day. You can see downtown Minneapolis on the horizon.

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The Vikings' locker room, which apparently is equipped to transition into a nightclub.

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The stadium outfitted for baseball. Not sure how this fits in considering Target Field is also in Minneapolis, but it would allow the Vikings to host high school or college baseball tournaments while the Twins are in town.

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The floor plan for basketball...

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... and hockey. Again, I'm not sure how many major non-football events the stadium will hold outside of the Final Four (would the T-Wolves want to share the NBA All-Star Game like the Dallas Mavericks did with Cowboys Stadium?) but, if nothing else, it provides leverage for the Twin Cities' other professional teams when their stadium leases expire. 

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A futuristic bar that comes standard with all football stadiums these days.

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And a bar overlooking the field. 

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