U.S. Bank Stadium already an imposing presence in the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, and yesterday marked a milestone on construction of the new Minnesota Vikings home: the facility should be completed in a year, for the 2016 season.
The new stadium replaced the Metrodome as the Vikings’ home, with the team playing temporarily at TCF Bank Stadium. So far work on the $1.1 billion stadium has been centered on infrastructure: the installation of the concrete seating bowl, construction of the framing for the roof, and erection of the outside walls. Also — and important for the Vikings — U.S. Bank signage was installed this week.
All that prep work will be put to use in coming months, as the revolutionary design will take shape with the installation of the roof will begin after the large cranes — currently installing the last three roof supports — come down. The stadium will feature five large glass doors, the largest in the world, able to be open and shut (depending on the conditions), as well as a glass roof. The plastic roof (technically, a ETFE polymer roof) is scheduled to be installed in coming weeks, before the cold this fall and winter, allowing construction workers to finish the indoor installation shielded from the elements. That includes the installation of 66,000 seats and the installation of signage from Daktronics: interactive ribbon boards and more than 2,000 flat screens, including a 8,160-square-foot videoboard at the west side and a 4,400-square-foot videoboard on the east end.
“To be a mere 12 months from opening what will be one of the world’s most architecturally unique stadiums is incredibly exciting,” Vikings president Mark Wilf said in a statement. “With the significant surrounding economic development, the involvement of thousands of Minnesota workers and hundreds of Minnesota companies, and the securing of major events, U.S. Bank Stadium is setting the bar for public-private partnerships.”
There is already an impressive list of events besides Vikings football scheduled for U.S. Bank Stadium: the NFL awarded Super Bowl LII (2018) to the Vikings and the NCAA awarded the 2019 Final Four to Minneapolis. The stadium could also host the 2020 College Football Playoff national championship game; it’s a finalist, and a decision is expected this fall.