The Minnesota Vikings could be the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The Vikings also will be the first team ever to host a divisional-round game when the Super Bowl is at their home stadium.
Only two victories stand between the Vikings and the unprecedented outcome. And such an eventuality would mean the Vikings would enjoy significant perks, including some semblances of home-field advantage.
As it stands, the Vikings, should the team reach Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium, would be the away team, as the NFL assigns which conference is the home team on an alternating, annual basis. This year, it’s the AFC which gets home-field advantage, as it were, with the NFC serving as the away team.
However, the NFL has plans in place should a team ever play in its home stadium. For instance, instead of the Vikings having to move to the visitors’ locker room, the team would be remain in their own. The Vikings would also stay on the home-team side of the field during the game.
NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told the Star Tribune it’s “always anticipated that a competing team that hosts [the Super Bowl] would stay in its own facility.”
The plan going into Super Bowl LII is for the “home” AFC team to practice at the Vikings’ facility, Winter Park. The “road” NFC team is slated to utilize the Gophers’ facilities at the University of Minnesota. If the Vikings reach the Super Bowl, that would be flipped, meaning Minnesota would enjoy the creature comforts of practicing, etc. at their usual facilities.
“Instead of staying at the Radisson Blu (the NFC hotel) at the Mall of America, the Vikings might also have the option to allow players and coaches to sleep in their own beds,” adds the Star Tribune report.
The Vikings, with much of course to accomplish first, would enjoy unprecedented advantages should they reach Super Bowl LII. Not quite complete home-field advantage — typical in-game activities to pump up the crowd, etc. would be banned — but pretty nice nevertheless.