More details were unveiled Tuesday on the new curtains coming to U.S. Bank Stadium, helping the venue host the upcoming Final Four and other events.
Next month, the home of the Minnesota Vikings will be the site of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. To prepare for the event, the facility is receiving curtains that will cover the translucent material that is used for much of its roof, as well as large glass windows that offer views of downtown Minneapolis. That is needed to meet NCCA standards, which require that all four teams receive the same lighting regardless of the time of day.
Funding for the U.S. Bank Stadium curtains was approved last summer, and facility officials presented more details on Tuesday. The curtains–approved as part of a $4.6 million project–will take several dozen riggers roughly five days to install before an event, with the same amount of time needed to remove them. Although needed for the Final Four, the curtains will not be limited to that event. Stadium officials emphasized on Tuesday that the curtains should last through the life of the facility, and could help attract additional events down the road. More from MPR News:
Mike Vekich, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, said the stadium’s maintenance fund will cover the $4.6 million in project costs. He said the ability to cut exterior light will attract more indoor events.
“It’s not a blackout solution. It’s a darkening solution,” Vekich said as he stood under the new curtains, suspended between the roof trusses high overhead. “So as the rest of the curtains get up and the rest of the bays get covered, we’ll have a darkening situation so that from a camera standpoint, we’ll get good shots.”
He said the curtains should last through the life of the stadium. Two religious gatherings want to use them.
Curtis Schmillen, U.S. Bank Stadium’s director of operations, said he’s sure concertgoers will hear the difference when the curtains are in place.
The 2019 Final Four will take place April 6/8. It will be the first Final Four hosted in Minneapolis since 2001, when the event took place at the Metrodome.
Image courtesy Minnesota Vikings.