It’s game day! No matter where you live or which football team you root for, attending a game can be an expensive and time-consuming event. We found a great way to attend a Minnesota Vikings game at US Bank Stadium without the stress and hassle of driving downtown and finding a place to park. We used Roseville as our base of operations during a Vikings weekend, and it proved to be a fun experience.
Staying at the Home2 Suites courtesy of Visit Roseville, we drove five minutes to Joe Sensers Sports Theater. The sports bar, owned by a former Viking star, sponsors a shuttle bus to home games. For $10 a person, you get a drink and a bus ride to and from the game. Stadium parking can range from $20 (about half a mile from the stadium) to $60. We appreciated saving some money on parking. In addition, you don’t have the stress of driving in game day traffic and navigating crowded streets.
Sensers has its system down solid. It’s recommended you call ahead of time to reserve a spot on one of three busses. Once inside the bar, a host at a table gives you your ticket and parking information. You can use your drink ticket for a morning cocktail or soda.
The bus you ride to the game is the bus you ride back to Roseville. The driver does a headcount before leaving Joe Sensers. Each bus holds up to 50 adults. The ride to US Bank Stadium seems short. It beats the stop and go traffic we’ve been in before driving to games. Once the bus arrives at the drop off point, the driver will stay there during the game. The bus returns to Roseville 30 minutes after the game ends. The driver will conduct another headcount before departing. If you plan to stay downtown after the game, let the driver know before departing for the game.
Once downtown, we were excited to attend our first game at US Bank Stadium. Clad in purple and gold, I was among my people. The Vikings offer a fun pregame experience. As fans mingle around the Viking ship and the plaza, featuring a contemporary art piece of a gjallarhorn, a band plays classic rock tunes and vendors sell team gear.
About 66,000 attend Vikings game, with each one sold out since the stadium opened in 2016. The concourse at US Bank Stadium is wider than the old Metrodome. While you are in a large crowd, I found it easy to move about. A fan wore a makeshift chainsaw helmet with a stuffed ram hanging from it, since the Vikings were playing the Los Angeles Rams. “We’re gonna have stuffed ram,” he said with a smile.
Lisa and I found our way to Viking Voyage, a pregame fan experience. The area offers team exhibits and interactive games, such as blocking sleds. A popular attraction is a photo op with the Purple People Eaters – sculptures featuring Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen. I was in Valhalla!
The game itself was fun to watch. The Rams took a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening drive. The Vikings owned the rest of the game. Minnesota tied the game in the second quarter. Following a scoreless third quarter, the Vikings dominated the final frame outscoring the Rams 17-0 en rout to a 24-7 win.
We stayed downtown following the game for dinner at the Newsroom. We took Uber back to Joe Sensers. The price to ride from downtown to Roseville was reasonable. The driver was personable and engaging. He has been an Uber driver for three years.
We enjoyed dinner at Joe Sensers the night before the game. We’ve dined at Sensers a few times during visits to the Twin Cities. The bar is popular with Husker fans. I like the club sandwich. I added a side of sweet potato fries, which includes maple cinnamon sauce. Delicious. Lisa ordered fish tacos, which she enjoyed.
I’ve checked off a few things on my Vikings bucket list this year, including attending preseason camp and touring US Bank Stadium, and now attending a game there. It’s been a fun year to be a Vikings fan in 2017.
If you have a trip planned to the Cities for a Vikings game, we suggest staying in Roseville, which is a perfectly positioned suburb, and taking Sensers shuttle. It makes the game day experience a fun one.
Disclaimer: Thank you to the Roseville Convention and Visitors Bureau for the complimentary hotel stay and a Visa gift card. However, all opinions and views are ours.