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Vikings developing smartphone app for new stadium

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - As the Minnesota Vikings pour concrete for their new stadium, they're thinking about how to get fans in the door in an era when watching at home on HDTV is so much easier and cheaperr.

The team is developing a smartphone app aimed at giving fans better experiences with traffic and parking, and for delivering exclusive content to them once they're inside the $1 billion stadium, which is due to open in 2016.

Vikings' marketing director Steve LaCroix told Minnesota Public Radio (http://bit.ly/1fQdaFp ) officials will be watching to see what works and what doesn't with the San Francisco 49ers' GameDay app, which will be integrated into their new stadium this summer.

The 49ers might try setting up their app for in-seat ordering of food and drinks. The Vikings are a little leery of that, fearing the challenge of 10,000 fans ordering a beer all at once. But they see a lot of value in using it to bring data quickly to fans such as fantasy football stats, replays and shots from different angles.

Competing with the experience fans can have at home will be important for paying the mortgage on the new stadium.

"They can interact with their friends on Facebook and Twitter," said James Farstad, a technology consultant working with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. "They have the ability to have their large screen TV. They've got food handy. They have a nice seating environment," he said. "Our job is to get those people motivated to get out of the house and come on downtown and have a good time."

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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