Can an extra 5,000 people explain the concourse congestion at U.S. Bank Stadium last night during the NCAA men's basketball championship game?
In their third season in the stadium, the Minnesota Vikings drew an average home football crowd of 66,811. Last night, 72,062 witnessed Virginia defeat Texas Tech in the NCAA tournament final. But the action outside the seating bowl drew some frustration with the gleaming facility in Minneapolis.
As reported by Dane Mizutani and Jace Frederick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "U.S. Bank Stadium was a human parking ramp in the hour before Monday’s tipoff between Virginia and Texas Tech. It was like sitting in rush hour traffic on I-35W, sans the comforts of the radio or personal space."
There was pushing. There was sweating. There were backups where the flow of traffic intersected with beer lines. "A lap around the stadium concourse took a solid 30 minutes in the hour leading up to tipoff," wrote Mizutani and Frederick. "Much like driving down I-94 from St. Paul to Minneapolis in the afternoon, there were some areas to pick up speed, only to eventually come to a dead halt."
Matt Travis, a fan from the Dallas area, told the Pioneer Press, "These concourses are narrow. You can’t do anything about that. I will say some wider concourses sure would’ve been nice."