Capitals

Vikings fans share ideas for new football stadium

Vikings fans share ideas for new football stadium

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Vikings fans expressed strong opinions late Monday about features they want in the team's new stadium, from a retractable roof and more leg room - to it being shaped like a giant castle.

An architect with Dallas-based HKS Sports & Entertainment, which is designing the nearly $1 billion stadium, listened to public comments during a forum in Minneapolis. Mark Williams said the downtown Minneapolis stadium will be architecturally distinct, reflect the personality of the team and of Minnesota, and be suited to host other major events.

But fans had their own quirky ideas. Season ticket holder Jeff Jackson said the stadium's ceiling should have acoustical tiles to make game days louder, while longtime fan Brandon Fraher said it should be shaped in a way to pay tribute to the long-gone world of the real Vikings.

``Ever since I was a kid, I thought that it would be really cool if the Vikings played in something that looked like a castle,'' said Fraher, from the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville.

They were among more than a dozen fans and others who sounded off during the forum with requests for everything from a retractable roof to more leg room in the aisles.

Williams, a principal at HKS Inc., which recently scored the $34 million design contract, made no promises to the fans. But he did vow that the stadium would be distinct and well-suited to host events such as rock concerts, pro wrestling and college sports tournaments.

``This building will represent Minneapolis and Minnesota when they show shots of it on Monday Night Football,'' Williams said.

Several other public forums are planned in upcoming weeks, and Williams said a preliminary design would likely be unveiled early next year.

HKS Inc. designed two of the newest NFL stadiums: Cowboys Stadium in suburban Dallas and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. But the buildings are vastly different. While Cowboys Stadium is rounded and futuristic, Lucas Oil Stadium has the classical look of a traditional college field house.

Ananth Shakar, a St. Paul architect, said he hoped the new Vikings stadium would be more like the Cowboys' stadium. He said it should be a companion to several recent, lauded additions to Minneapolis architecture.

``I'm hoping it's in the tradition of the Guthrie Theater, the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Library,'' Shakar said. ``The architecture of this stadium needs to look to the future, not to the past.''

Lynn Garthwaite of Bloomington had a much less lofty request.

``I think it'd be great to be the first stadium with enough leg room that you don't have to stand up when someone in your row leaves for a beer,'' she said.

Several fans said it should have a real grass field. Advocates for the disabled said it should have a greater level of accessibility than the Metrodome it's replacing, and a number of fans said a retractable roof is a must. That last feature could increase the $975 million price tag, but Williams said it's under active consideration.

``My fantasy would be that it's snowing out, and the roof is open. How cool would that be?'' said Larry Spooner, a die-hard Vikings fan who lobbied hard at the Minnesota Capitol for public funding of the stadium. ``You should be able to smell the barbeque ribs from the tailgaters.''

Officials hope for a ground-breaking later next year, with the stadium to be built roughly on the site of the current Metrodome. The plan is that it will be ready in time for the 2016 football season.

Jeff Jackson of Coon Rapids, a 26-year season ticket holder, said he hoped one feature of the widely disliked Metrodome would survive in its predecessor.

``We're very proud of the fact that we have the loudest, noisiest game day in the NFL,'' Jackson said. ``So what I'd love to see would be acoustical ceiling tiles in the new stadium that would reflect the fan noise right down onto that field.''

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The next great hashtag, give props to Stephenson and Carlson can't stop scoring

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USA TODAY Sports

The next great hashtag, give props to Stephenson and Carlson can't stop scoring

Game 1 of the World Series was completely overshadowed by the big matchup in Calgary between the Capitals and Flames...OK, so that’s not entirely true, but while the Nationals were battling in Game 1, the Caps extended their win streak to four games including two wins to start their five-game road trip.

Here is everything you need to know from Tuesday's 5-3 win.

Observations from the win

Another big-game for Carlson

The NHL points leader scored another two goals to give him 20 points in his first 11 games. He now has a career-high eight-game point streak.

Yawn. Seen it. It's all routine at this point.

All kidding aside, if you’re not on the Carlson hype train, get on board. This is quickly turning from a great start to a special one.

Reirden is showing a lot of trust in his fourth line

Brendan Leipsic, Chandler Stephenson and Nic Dowd only played about 6:45 together as a line on Tuesday, but the vast majority of that time came in the third period when the Caps when it really mattered and with the Caps protecting a lead.

Six minor penalties in the first two periods limited their ice-time to less than seven minutes. You may look at that as a sign of distrust, but if you dig deeper and see that the fourth line took six shifts in the third period alone, you start to realize it’s not how much they were used but when that really matters.

Big props to Stephenson

At no point in the offseason did I think Stephenson would be a regular in the Caps’ lineup this year. That’s not just me, the Caps essentially broadcast that they were not satisfied with his play when they signed him to a contract just under the maximum cap hit that can be buried in the AHL. At that point, I thought he should have started packing his bags for Hershey. Instead, he worked his butt off, had a great training camp and has stuck on the roster ever since.

Stephenson’s goal was not just pure luck. No, I don’t mean he meant to bank the puck off Rasmus Andersson. What I mean is he followed the puck on a dump-in, sped in to steal it from Cam Talbot behind the net and then banked it in. He didn’t give up on the play and created a goal out of nothing.

There are times I think Reirden shows Stephenson a little bit too much faith as I think Dowd should not be scratched as much as he is, but it is hard to argue with Stephenson continuing to play a fourth-line role considering how much he continues to work for it.

Give credit to Vrana

Tom Wilson scored the game-winner on a goal that was assisted by Lars Eller and Michal Kempny. But do not discount the role Jakub Vrana played on that goal.

Eller picks up the puck when Travis Hamonic failed to control it and Vrana immediately went hard to the net. Noah Hanifin went with him which left Wilson wide open for the goal.

Vrana may not get a point for it, but he was instrumental in setting up that play.

Turning point

Calgary battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game at 2 late in the second. That tie lasted...10 whole seconds.


Play of the night

Brendan Leipsic dumped in the puck and Talbot went behind the net to corral it. You see this multiple times per game, every game. Nothing ever comes from it. This time, however, Stephenson never gave up on the play and caught Talbot by surprise.

Stephenson stole it from Talbot and fired a centering pass off Andersson into the empty net.


Stat of the night

First, the obligatory Carlson stat:

Now another bonus stat just to make sure this does not get monopolized by Carlson.

Nicklas Backstrom picked up an assist on Ovechkin’s goal in the second period. That assist was the 649th of his career which moves him one past Daniel Sedin for the fifth-most assists all-time by a Swedish-born player.

Quote of the night

Ovechkin on Carlson’s incredible start to the season:

“#Johnny4Norris. That’s a hashtag right now. Let’s keep it going.”

Fan predictions

I don’t know whether to be more impressed by how many predictions you got right or the window.

Calling a Stephenson goal is pretty damn bold.

Nailed the score.

Caps in 5.

Anything to avoid going to Edmonton.

I’m kidding! I hear Edmonton is lovely this time of year….

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Blue jerseys continue to be lucky for Washington Nationals

Blue jerseys continue to be lucky for Washington Nationals

A historic win in the World Series opener means only one thing for the Washington Nationals: They'll stick with the blue jerseys.

The team is now - as MLB Network pointed out - 8-0 when wearing their blue jerseys in the postseason.

And while not changing the jersey color might seem a little extreme - after all didn't this win have a little more to do with Juan Soto for example - as our Caroline Brandt discovered before the World Series, the Nationals are far from the only ones holding tight to any sort of luck they can find in their first World Series trip.

Here are some more interesting numbers from the win: 


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