Redskins

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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

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Various sources

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Cousins and leadership, D-line potential

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 21, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

How the addition of Alexander affects the Redskins' DB depth chart—Adonis Alexander was brought into the NFL about a week and a half ago and in five days he’ll be on the practice field in Richmond. How much will missing OTAs and minicamp hurt him in comparison to, say, his former Hokie teammate Greg Stroman? I think that the plan is for this to be a “redshirt” year for Alexander to learn. But that was supposed to be the plan for Josh Harvey-Clemons and Chase Roullier last year and both ended up playing key snaps. 

Can the Redskins defensive line live up to its potential? Many NFL fans don’t appreciate the value of having a good defensive line. Redskins fans are not in that group because they have seen what you get when you try to build a defensive line with over-the-hill veteran free agents, low draft picks, and undrafted players. Fans will value the talent, youth, and depth on the 2018 D-line.  

10 Questions in 10 days: LB depth chart—This is another area where the Redskins have not invested much in recent seasons. At least this year they stepped up and re-signed starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown. They are the present. Are Shaun Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons the future? 

The pass rush must continue to be a strength for the Redskins—With the picture at the cornerback position is somewhat murky right now, the pass rush will be critical, especially in the early going. The outside linebackers lost a key reserve, putting the burden on Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan to continue to get pressure on Ryan Anderson to take a leap forward in his second season. 

Tweet of the week

Well, this tweet did sort of stir things up as did some of the things that Cousins said in an article by Dan Pompei on the Bleacher Report. The thing about Twitter is that there is no room for nuance. I was labeled a Kirk “hater” by some. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. On multiple occasions, I urged the team to sign him long term and highlighted the positive aspects of his play. 

But this thing about not having a “platform” to lead always struck me as a cop-out. Cousins talked about it during some press conferences while he was here. The length of your contract should not prevent you from embracing a leadership role. You’re getting paid to lead, just do it. Few in leadership positions in business or in the military know where they will be a year from now. They embrace the role while they have it and Cousins should have done the same. 

The fact that I don’t like this one aspect of Cousins doesn’t mean that I don’t like him overall. He’s a good quarterback and I think he will have success with the Vikings. I think that the price got to be too much for the Redskins and the decision to move on to Alex Smith was sound or at least the best they could do after it became apparent that he was not going to sign here. But it’s not all one or the other. It is possible to see the positive and negative of Cousins. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline

Mike Sellers, whose seven receiving touchdowns in 2005 were the most by a Redskins running back since the merger, was born on this date in 1975.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 5
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 19
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 42

The Redskins last played a game 202 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 50 days. 

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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USA Today Sports Images

Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond.