MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just before the Vikings players take the field at U.S. Bank Stadium, little pieces of white stuff fall from above. It’s the newest part of the Vikings pre-game show: fake snow.
“The first time we did it, it was a lot of surprise,” said Greg Bostrom, director of entertainment for the Minnesota Vikings. “No one knew we were going to snow on them.”
On Twitter, one user wrote, “The only way they get more Minnesotan than that is to serve salad made from Cool Whip and Jell-O.”
“It’s Minnesota. Snow is part of our identity here,” said Bostrom. “When we built that dragon ship, we thought the snow would put it over the top.”
The snow is actually water mixed with a plant-based soluble soap solution. It’s a proprietary recipe that’s shot out of 42 fans all over the stadium.
The video doesn’t really do the experience justice. Inside, fans feel like they’re in a giant picturesque snow globe. The soap suds falls on people and then dissolve on touch.
The Vikings entertainment team came up with the idea after the NFL banned fireworks displays inside stadiums in 2019. (This ban came after one of pyrotechnics units used by the Tennessee Titans caught fire inside their stadium.)
“There’s no other NFL teams doing this currently,” said Bostrom. “I think we’re trying to set a trend here.”
It is not lost on the Vikings that the last time it snowed inside a Vikings stadium was a disaster. In 2010, the Metrodome collapsed under the weight of 17 inches of snow.
“We did think about it and we really thought about the Met before anything else, because we used to play outdoors and snow was a huge part of our game here,” Bostrom said.
The Vikings say the snow is here to stay at U.S. Bank Stadium. Twenty-five of snow fans are permanently mounted in the rafters, while the other 17 are spread out at lower levels. They’re testing those over the season to figure out the best ways to reach the most fans.