As excitement builds with regards to the Minnesota Vikings vying to become the first NFL team to play in a Super Bowl on its home field, the league is preparing for what could be an unprecedented short turnaround of U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings are hosting the New Orleans Saints this Sunday in the divisional round, and could be presented with another home game in the NFC Championship next weekend should the Atlanta Falcons beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday. That would leave the league just two weeks to prepare the stadium for the big game - something that has never happened before.
"We're watching it closely, no question about it, and we have been for a while," NFL senior vice president of events Peter O'Reilly said, according to Jonathan Jones of SI.com. "The good thing is there is a really detailed contingency plan in place that hasn’t had to be rolled out before, but is in place. We’ve been talking with the Vikings and the host committee throughout the back-half of this regular season on a regular basis on all the different scenarios. It adds another factor for sure, but we feel good about the planning in place."
Ahead of the Super Bowl, organizers will need to build additional booths for international broadcasters, set up an auxiliary press box in the upper level of the stadium, make the necessary arrangements for the halftime show, prepare the locker rooms for larger press conferences, and construct the security perimeter around the outside of the stadium, potentially eating into parking space that would be necessary for the NFC Championship.