Technically speaking, the Minnesota Vikings Practice Facility is known as the “TCO Performance Center” – but everyone knows it as the home of the Minnesota Vikings. It is located in Eagan, MN and just opened this year. My client, Bituminous Roadways, did all of the extensive asphalt work at the facility and hired me to help them show it off.
The only realistic way of photographing asphalt is from the air and I’ve done a number of aerial projects for Bituminous Roadways over the past couple of years. This one presented a number of unique challenges.
First, to effectively photograph a parking lot, the lot should ideally be empty. This is a problem for this facility since it’s in nearly continuous use. The only realistic time was during a Vikings home game when all the staff and players would be at US Bank Stadium. Why not an out-of-town game, you ask? Easy answer – the players park at TCO and take a shuttle bus to the airport for transportation.
The facility is also physically located less than 5 miles from MSP airport – and that makes it a restricted area. By working with the FAA, I was able to obtain the necessary waivers to carry out this project at the time and altitudes that I required. I still had to keep an eye (and ear) on the sky since landing planes in that are are rather low (but still realistically hundreds of feet above me).
With the logistics in place – it needed the third and final element for a great project. Great weather makes great pictures – and fingers were crossed that the selected Sunday while the Vikings were home would have excellent weather.
On the selected Sunday, the clear skies, cool temps, and low humidity made for a spectacular day for shooting. A “sporty” breeze of around 15mph made steady video flight interesting but still achievable with some caution.
The final results speak for themselves – beautiful vistas of this spectacular new facility and the great asphalt work performed by Bituminous Roadways.