GREEN BAY — New stadium. Same noise.
That’s what the Green Bay Packers are expecting as they ready for Sunday’s night game against the Minnesota Vikings, the first regular-season contest played at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy recently toured the more than $1 billion facility, which still consists of the giant horn the Vikings’ previous venue, The Metrodome, was known for.
Considering the venue and excitement for the first game at the stadium, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy already has a sense of how loud it will be on Sunday night.
After preparing for the Jacksonville heat last Sunday, the Packers plan to practice this week with the noise turned up like they did at various points throughout the summer.
“We cranked it up. In our walk-throughs, we have music up very loud,” McCarthy said. “It’s significantly different in the Metrodome (but) you have a number of stadiums that are very loud. That’s part of our prep. It’s part of our day operation.
“My understanding is it’s going to be very loud in the new stadium. It’s an impressive facility.”
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t announced whether Shaun Hill or recently acquired Sam Bradford will start Sunday against the Packers. McCarthy said Green Bay will prepare for either quarterback.
While the roof at U.S. Bank Stadium is transparent, McCarthy said the Packers won’t tour the venue when they fly in on Saturday afternoon. Since it’s a night game, he believes they’ll get the necessary preparation in Sunday’s pregame warmups.
After a solid week of preparation going into Jacksonville, it’s up to the Packers to build off that momentum in Minnesota.
“Communication is a big part of it. It’s part of the challenge of playing over there,” McCarthy said. “That’s not going to change compared to how we’ve had to prepare in prior seasons. We’re focusing on our preparation. We had a good preparation week going into Jacksonville. We’re trying to build off of that and emphasize those things.”
Along with congratulating David Bahktiari on his extension, McCarthy also said during his Wednesday morning news conference that cornerback Sam Shields remains in the concussion protocol.
The Packers will practice 19 minutes less than a normal Wednesday to help the team come back from Sunday’s draining game in Jacksonville.