The Vikings will host the Chicago Bears at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium in the first outdoor NFL game in Minnesota in 29 years in a special ESPN Monday Night Football event on Dec. 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT).
The contest will be played 29 years to the day of the last outdoor game in Minnesota on Dec. 20, 1981, when Kansas City beat Minnesota, 10-6, in the final sporting event at Bloomington's Metropolitan Stadium (affectionately known as "The Met").
Kansas City quarterback Steve Fuller completed 12 of 16 passes for 145 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stan Rome early in the third quarter. The teams traded field goals in the first half before Fuller guided Kansas City on a 63-yard drive that resulted in the game's lone touchdown and decisive score.
In the closing minute of the fourth quarter, Minnesota drove to the Chiefs' three-yard line, but Tommy Kramer's fourth-down pass intended for tight end Joe Senser was deflected in the end zone by Chiefs safety Gary Barbaro to preserve the win with 15 seconds remaining.
The game featured four future Pro Football Hall of Famers, including both head coaches (Minnesota's Bud Grant and Kansas City's Marv Levy) and two Minnesota offensive linemen (tackle Ron Yary and center Jim Langer). The contest was Yary's last in his 14-year Viking career.
Three members of the Vikings' Ring of Honor also participated - linebacker Scott Studwell, Grant and Yary.
What to look for on MNF:
Monday night's historic game will take place one day after Minnesota announces its 50 Greatest Vikings list during the "Minnesota Vikings: Celebrating 50 Seasons" event at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday, Dec. 19.
Nine of the 50 Greatest Vikings were involved in the last outdoor game in Minnesota back in 1981. Viewers can tune in to ESPN on Monday night to find out which of those greats were on the field when Vikings fans waved goodbye to The Met one final time.
We meet again:
Minnesota's Leslie Frazier played five seasons with the Bears (1981-85) and will face Chicago for the first time as a head coach. Frazier, who was named interim head coach by the Vikings earlier this season, started at cornerback for the famed "Super Bowl Shuffle" 1985 Bears that went on to win Super Bowl XX. He led Chicago with six interceptions that season.
How it all began:
The first regular-season game in Vikings history was also played outdoors at Metropolitan Stadium against Chicago on Sept. 17, 1961. In a stunning upset, the Vikings defeated the Bears, 37-13. Kicker Mike Mercer scored the first points in team history with a 12-yard field goal. Bob Schnelker scored the team's first touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, who made his NFL debut that day. Tarkenton came off the bench to pass for 250 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Early forecasts are predicting an overnight low temperature of nine degrees Fahrenheit for Minneapolis on Monday night.