U.S. Bank Stadium Features a Great View of Owatonna Football
The media facilities were not where I expected them to be at the new Vikings stadium. But it was still a great view of the action for Owatonna's state semifinal game Friday.
Fellow play-by-play announcer Jason Iacovino texted me a question about what yard line our broadcast location was for the Huskies tussle with Elk River. Color commentator Brad Fischer and I chuckled about the query. Brad suggested I answer with, "the negative 20." As the picture shows, our spot was behind the end zone at one end of the enormous building. At the Metrodome we were usually around the 40- or 50-yard line.
We had a nice view, but felt a bit removed from the field. When Jason Williamson scored his touchdown at the opposite end of the field, it was difficult to see. We did have the advantage of the immense video board for replays, including the super slow-motion replay of a controversial second-quarter play. The Huskies' Jaden Dowhanuik seemed to knock Elk River's Sam Gibas for a loss but the officials didn't blow the whistle and Gibas regained his feet and raced into the end zone for the 19-7 lead that ended up being the final score. Replays seemed to show Gibas' knee hitting the turf. Owatonna's fans booed heartily during the replay. Fans had a better seat than the media. We were up higher, but the fans were much closer to the action.
The media area was a wide-open area with long tables. I liked that better than being inside a booth like we were at the Metrodome. Brad and I did not get a chance to tour around too much. We entered the building at the Sid Hartman media entrance and rode an elevator directly to the press box. We did hit the concourse briefly for a bite of lunch and a chance to huddle with our producer Rich Will. We were limited to two media passes so he watched from the Owatonna fan section.
Will took many of the pictures that you see in this gallery. He also did the driving and found us a great spot right across the street from the stadium. The trip home through rush hour traffic with a strong winter breeze was uneventful except for the brief detour northbound on I-35.
It is always a joy and privilege to cover high school sports at these fine Twin Cities venues. Hopefully we are covering Huskies football at U.S. Bank Stadium again next fall. Until then, I know local teams will be battling for their opportunity to get to play on the state tournament stage.
Go Huskies! (Indians)