The Minnesota Vikings are a pro-American football team playing in the NFC North division within the NFL.
The Vikings are based in the city of Minneapolis, the largest and busiest city within Minnesota. The team has been there since being granted a franchise by the NFL as an expansion team in 1960.
Many regular football watchers will recognise the Vikings’ logo and their distinctive purple, gold and white colours. These colours are often worn while their fight song “Skol, Vikings” is blared out.
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History of the Minnesota Vikings
The history of this franchise can be traced back further than many believe. Pro football in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis-Saint-Paul began in the 1920s when the Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets played on and off until the 30s.
After a long break, a new team came into being in the summer of 1959 when a franchise was awarded to Minnesota by the American Football League. A short time later, in early 1960, the ownership controversially flipped to the NFL who awarded its 14th franchise, the Vikings beginning life on the field in 1961.
The Vikings have managed to represent Minnesota at the playoffs thirty times and became NFC North winners in 2017.
The Minnesota Vikings Home Field
These days the team plays its games at the US Bank Stadium, a replacement for their long-time home, the Metrodome.
Initially, the Vikings played at the Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981, moving to the famous Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1982.
Their stay there was a long one, the team calling it home until the end of the 2013 season, but a new venue was needed. The Vikings played for two years at the TCF Bank Stadium while their new stadium was being constructed.
The US Bank Stadium’s construction began in late 2013 but was not opened for business until the summer of 2016. The project cost a cool $1 billion to complete. The stadium these days holds 66,860 for football matches, although it can be expanded to over 73,000 for other events.
The Minnesota Vikings’ new home was the first fixed-roof stadium built for an NFL franchise since the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field in 2002. Initially, the Vikings’ owners wanted an outdoor stadium, however, local officials would only agree to provide funding for an indoor venue that could host other major events.
The US Bank Stadium is in an iconic part of the country, situated in the downtown area of Minneapolis close to the famous Mississippi River.
Past Minnesota Vikings Heroes
The Vikings have had many of their representatives inducted into pro football’s Hall of Fame, including these top players:
- Warren Moon, Jan Stenerud, Brett Favre, Morten Andersen, Fran Tarkenton, Paul Krause, Hugh McElhenny, Dave Casper, Mick Tingelhoff, Chris Doleman, Jim Langer, Randall McDaniel, Gary Zimmerman, Ron Yary, Steve Hutchinson, Cris Carter, Carl Eller, Randy Moss, Alan Page and John Randle.
Coach Bud Grant and general manager Jim Finks have also been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
As is the case with all NFL teams, the Minnesota Vikings have chosen to venerate some of their all-time greats by retiring their numbers.
The numbers of Fran Tarkenton (10), Mick Tingelhoff (53), Jim Marshall (70), Korey Stringer (77), Cris Carter (80) and Alan Page (88) are no longer in use.
The Vikings’ Biggest On-Field Achievements
Minnesota Vikings have had mixed fortunes on the field, these being their best achievements to date:
- NFL Champions (pre-AFL-NFL merger in 1970) x 1 – 1969
- NFL Western Conference Champions x 1 – 1969
- NFC Conference Champions x 3 – 1973, 1974, 1976
- NFL Central Division Championship Winners x 2 – 1968, 1969
- NFC Central Division Championship Winners x 14 – 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000
- NFC North Division Championship Winners x 4 – 2008, 2009, 2015, 2017
As well as winning these various titles, the Vikings have got to the NFL playoffs fully 30 times, in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
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