MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Over the years, Greg Kelly has built small scale replicas of everything from the grand staircase on the Titanic to the movie theater featured in ‘Singing in the Rain’. But his latest masterpiece is a miniature version of the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.
"I'm just totally overwhelmed and very thankful that I've accomplished this project," said Kelly.
Kelly owned a hobby shop in southern California for 43 years. When he moved to Minneapolis he was so taken with the Vikings’ new stadium, he decided to build a model of it made entirely out of toothpicks.
"I had never done a toothpick model before, seen pictures, so this was my first ever attempt at a toothpick model,” said Kelly.
It took him seven months, 6,000 toothpicks and endless hours of painstaking work to build the mini local landmark that is three feet wide, four feet long and 1 1/2 feet tall.
"All the intense angles that are involved in it,” said Kelly. “To get it in proper scale and proportion was very challenging to do."
The replica includes intricate details, like the giant glass doors at the main entrance and the Vikings logo on the marquee. Even though Kelly never met him, inside the stadium, you can make out the name of Jeramie Gruber backwards. Gruber was a roofer who fell from the roof and died during the stadium’s construction.
"You have to get emotional about your work,” said Kelly. “If you don't, you don't have work. It’s not art. You have to have someone to identify with. His spirit was with me getting this accomplished."
Kelly hopes the Vikings put his model on display during the upcoming Super Bowl next year. If the hometown team happens to play in the big game, Kelly says it's about time their ship finally comes in.
"It’s such an incredible story about the Vikings and the stadium,” he said. “It’s all starting to come together."