Below you will find the latest new Vikings stadium Q&A, updated on January 2015. Click the links below to jump to various sections of the Q&A.
U.S. BANK STADIUM CONSTRUCTION
U.S. BANK STADIUM DESIGN/FAN EXPERIENCE
U.S. BANK STADIUM COST AND FINANCING
U.S. BANK STADIUM OPERATION AND USES
U.S. BANK STADIUM SEATS/SUITES/CLUBS/STADIUM BUILDER’S LICENSES
U.S. BANK STADIUM OTHER EVENTS GENERAL FAQ
What are the latest developments on construction?
Construction of the new fixed-roof stadium is approximately 80% complete and remains on schedule to open in July 2016. All of the structural concrete has been poured, while the entire horizontal roof structure is nearly complete. Installation of exterior metal panels and nearly 200,000 square feet of glass is underway, and the stadium will be fully enclosed in November 2015. Nearly 1,400 construction workers were on site daily during the 2015 summer and have now worked more than 2,500,000 hours to date. Additionally, 265 Minnesota businesses have already contributed to the project.
Watch the construction process live through various 24/7 cameras here.
What is the general construction timeline?
December 2013 – Groundbreaking
January 2014 – Demolition of Metrodome/Concrete frame assembly begins
August 2014 – Steel installation begins
March 2015 – Glass installation begins
April 2015 – Exterior metal panel installation begins
June 2015 – ETFE roof installation begins
July 2015 – Last section of roof ridge truss erected
November 2015 – ETFE roof installation ends; full, water tight (or snow) horizontal enclosure complete
November 2015 – Stadium fully enclosed with temporary walls and heating
December 2015 – Scoreboard and ribbon board installation begins
February 2016 – Vertical enclosure – metal panels, glass curtain walls and operable doors – complete
March 2016 – Retractable seating installation complete
April 2016 – Vikings locker room finished
May 2016 – Field turf installation begins
June 2016 – Final exterior landscaping completed
July 2016 – U.S. Bank Stadium opens
May 20, 2014 – U.S. Bank Stadium is chosen to host Super Bowl LII in February, 2018
November 14, 2014 – NCAA announces that U.S. Bank Stadium will host the 2019 Men’s Final Four
Where are the Vikings playing while the new stadium is constructed?
In early 2013, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota negotiated a use agreement allowing the Vikings to play the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium on the university’s campus.
Will there be an emphasis on using local materials when available?
From day one a top priority for both the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) and the Vikings has been not only to build the best multi-purpose stadium in the country but also to have a positive impact for Minnesota companies and workers. HKS, the Vikings and the MSFA brought on more than 20 Minnesota companies or individuals as design subcontractors in areas like interior and exterior design, landscaping, structural engineering and more. Also, to date, 265 Minnesota businesses have worked on the project and approximately 90% of the contract dollars have gone back to Minnesota companies. Whenever possible, local materials will be used throughout this project. For example, the glass and glazed curtain walls on the stadium’s exterior is being fabricated by Viracon, a Minnesota-based company, and installed by Interclad, another Minnesota company. The granite bricks used in the Legacy Brick Paver program are from Babitt, Minnesota, and the Daktronics facility in Redwood Falls is producing the video and LED boards. The stadium’s construction manager, Mortenson Construction, is based in Golden Valley, MN, and the nearly 4.3 million work hours are going primarily to Minnesota construction workers. Finally, the Vikings and the MSFA, in partnership with Sports & the Arts, selected 34 local artist to create a one-of-a-kind, museum-quality art collection for the new stadium that showcases Vikings history, Minnesota sports history and other regional history. The project group will continue to ensure that Minnesota companies have the opportunity to bid on this project.
Are materials being recycled?
Yes, Mortenson Construction announced the following recycling facts related to the demolition process:
Can I watch the new stadium construction process?
Yes, the Vikings have engaged EarthCam to provide four stadium cameras – one live-streaming camera and three high-definition megapixel time-lapse cameras – to document the progress on the stadium project. Each camera offers a unique perspective of the site from various directions, enabling project teams to view activity remotely in real-time while documenting the entire process for time-lapse photography.
Does U.S. Bank Stadium have a retractable roof, a fixed roof or is it open-air?
U.S. Bank Stadium will have a fixed roof; however, 60% of the roof structure will be transparent, allowing stadium users to view the sun and sky throughout the year while staying in a climate-controlled environment.
What are some of the design elements?
U.S. Bank Stadium will provide several unique features compared to all other NFL stadiums, including the largest transparent ethylene-tetraflouroethylene (ETFE) roof in the nation and five 95-feet high pivoting glass doors that will open to a nearly three-acre plaza and the Minneapolis downtown skyline. While the stadium’s roof will be fixed, the transparent ETFE and the nearly 200,000 square feet of glass throughout the building will give fans an outdoor feel in a climate-controlled environment. The LED lighting – the first of its kind in a new NFL stadium – can adjust color temperatures and turn off and on quickly to allow for unique pre-game and halftime entertainment and an enhanced viewing experience.
Vikings fans will also be as close to the action as any NFL stadium, with seats just 41 feet from the sideline. Seven levels in the stadium, including two general admission concourses with 360-degree circulation and various views into the bowl, will be connected via escalators, elevators, stairs and a continuous ramp. Two of the largest and highest-quality HD video boards in the NFL will be located in both the east and west end zones, and approximately 2,000 HD flat screen televisions will be distributed throughout U.S. Bank Stadium. Approximately 1,300 Wi-Fi access points will allow stadium-wide internet access, and combined with the network infrastructure, will support the Vikings yet-to-be-unveiled stadium app. Fans will enjoy wider concourses, more restrooms, increased and enhanced concessions, accessibility for fans with disabilities and ample space for pre-game events and activities. The stadium will also include Vikings history and memorabilia, a team store and a museum-quality art collection. Click here for a list of stadium design elements.
How will the stadium compare to the Metrodome?
For a full comparison chart, click here.
What is ETFE?
ETFE is a co-polymer resin that is extruded into a thin film. The plastic-like material is transparent but can be treated to be translucent, is extremely light-weight, very durable and resistant to corrosion. In an architectural application ETFE is typically used in a multi-layer pneumatic system.
What is the life/longevity of ETFE?
ETFE does not degrade with exposure to UV light, atmospheric pollution or extreme temperatures. The material has withstood extensive testing within extreme environments, and is expected to have a 30-50 year life expectancy while requiring minimal maintenance.
How does ETFE handle weight/pressure?
Despite its weight (1/100 the weight of glass) ETFE handles snow/wind loads very well. In sheet form, it can stretch three times its length without losing elasticity.
How do you clean ETFE?
ETFE systems are extremely low maintenance. The surface of the foil is non-stick and non-porous, which allows the natural action of rain to clean the surface. Deposits of dirt, dust and debris remain unattached and are washed away in the rain, meaning ETFE effectively self-cleans with virtually no need to clean externally.
Will snow and ice build up on the roof of the stadium?
Several characteristics of this roof are designed for Minnesota’s climate. First, the slope of the stadium - rising from approximately 205 feet from grade in the east to 272 feet high in the west - will give the building a unique ability to shed snow. Secondly, the translucent ETFE material will allow more sunlight and radiant heat through the roof, which combined with the natural rise of heat from inside the stadium will help melt the snow and ice. Diverters will redirect it into gutters and collection basins located on the edges of the roof, keeping snow and ice from falling to the ground below.
What are some of the most notable facilities in the world using ETFE material?
WaterCube - Beijing, China
Eden Project – Cornwall UK
Forsyth Barr Stadium - Dunedin, New Zealand
Allianz Arena - Munich, Germany
Will U.S. Bank Stadium be loud?
While the final determination on the ETFE’s effect on crowd noise is still being studied, stadium architects say ETFE is a more “acoustically reflective material” than the Metrodome’s fabric roof and “should make the stadium louder.” Furthermore, the new stadium is entirely enclosed, including one half of the roof being a metal deck, and with the closest fans just 41 feet from the sideline, Vikings fans will be as close to the action as any NFL stadium. The difference is that the first row of seats will be elevated an average of seven feet off field level, or roughly twice the typical height of NFL stadiums, giving the fans in the first several rows optimal sightlines and allowing them to be more engaged.
The reality is that fans truly make the difference in terms of noise, which is why stadiums like the Metrodome, Green Bay’s Lambeau Field and Seattle’s CenturyLink Field are some of the toughest for visiting teams to have success. Read ESPN.com’s piece on new stadiums and home field advantage here.
How will the lighting be inside U.S. Bank Stadium?
In addition to the expansive glass and the transparent ETFE roof, all of which will allow natural light into the stadium, the Vikings have funded an upgrade to illuminate the field with high performance LED stadium lights from Ephesus Lighting, Inc., making the U.S. Bank Stadium the first to utilize LED lighting from the onset. The LED lighting will provide a significant increase in illumination compared to traditional metal halide lights that have been common at stadiums for more than 30 years. LED lighting also provides natural and more uniform light, which improves the overall clarity of the playing surface, to create a better stage for players and fans, both in the stadium and those watching on high-definition television. The lights can be turned off and on quickly, allowing for unique entertainment opportunities during sporting event breaks. Lastly, the new LED system is also consistent with the stadium’s mission to be as environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient as possible. It is projected to consume 75% less energy as compared to a traditional metal halide system.
Will tailgating be available at the new stadium?
The Vikings understand how important tailgating is for many fans, and the team is committed to ensuring that the tradition continues when the new stadium opens in 2016. Representatives from the Vikings are currently working with the City of Minneapolis and the surrounding neighborhoods in an effort to expand the City’s existing tailgating zone per the agreement between the State of Minnesota, the City and the Vikings that shaped the final 2012 stadium legislation.
Will there be accessible seating for fans with disabilities?
Yes, the current design calls for 690 wheelchair and companion seats to be located throughout all seating levels of the stadium (in comparison, the Metrodome had 190 wheelchair and companion seats). The 690 figure does not include the approximately 140 additional wheelchair spaces within the suites, loge spaces and club spaces. The new stadium will comply with all federal ADA requirements and will be designed to allow patrons with disabilities to enjoy the comforts and amenities of the building.
Will U.S. Bank Stadium be LEED certified?
Yes, the MSFA and the Vikings have worked with the architect and construction manager to make the stadium as environmentally and energy efficient as possible. The project design and construction group is committed to building a stadium that will receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. More details related to this will be available as the construction moves forward.
How much will the U.S. Bank Stadium cost?
After an original budget of $975 million, the total project cost is now approximately $1.087 billion. Since committing to $477 million, the team/private contribution has increased by $100 million in order to ensure that design elements related to the fan experience are kept in the final project. The team/private contribution now includes $577 million (53% of stadium capital costs) while the public contribution toward the project remains at $498 million (food service provider Aramark and stadium operator SMG have contributed the remaining $12 million). The team has also absorbed a total of $23.2 million in costs of playing at the University of Minnesota for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. A breakdown of the team/private contributions is below:
TEAM/PRIVATE CONTRIBUTION BREAKDOWN (rounded numbers)
Original Stadium Legislation (May 10, 2012)................... $477,000,000.00
Contingency Guarantee (November 22, 2013).................. $26,400,000.00 (now included in project)
Additional Cash Contribution (April 18, 2014)..................... $1,200,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (June 20, 2014)..................... $1,300,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (August 22, 2014)............... $19,700,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (October 10, 2014).................. $518,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (November 21, 2014)............... $647,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (December 19, 2014)............ $1,200,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (January 16, 2015)................... $944,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (February 15, 2015).............. $2,300,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (March 27, 2015)................ $19,500,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (April 17, 2015)..................... $1,200,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (May 15, 2015)................... $14,000,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (June 19, 2015)..................... $5,900,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (July 21, 2015)......................... $697,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (August 21, 2015).................... $617,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (September 18, 2015)........... $2,895,000.00
Additional Cash Contribution (October 9, 2015).................... $132,000.00
Total Team/Private Contribution.................................... $577,000,000.00
* Total does not include TCF Bank Stadium Relocation Costs Absorbed of $23.2 Million
How is the project being financed?
Of the project’s now $1.087 billion upfront capital costs, $577 million, or 53% of the stadium cost, will be paid by private funds made up of a combination of Vikings private financing and equity and the MSFA’s sale of Stadium Builder’s Licenses (SBLs). The Vikings private financing and equity includes certain NFL financing in the form of a loan repaid by stadium revenues. The Stadium Builder’s Licenses program was authorized by the Minnesota legislature in the 2012 stadium legislation (for more on SBLs, click here).
The $498 million public contribution will be split between the City of Minneapolis ($150 million) and the State of Minnesota ($348 million). The State has issued appropriation bonds in an approximate amount of $462 million and will finance the remainder of the $498 million public contribution with available State funds. The stadium legislation provides that the City’s $150 million contribution will be advanced to the MSFA through the issuance of the appropriation bonds and will be repaid by the City to the State by redirecting a portion of the current “Convention Center Taxes.” The remaining amount of the appropriation bonds will be repaid to the bondholders from other sources available to the state, including the modernization of state-authorized charitable gaming that includes electronic pull-tabs and bingo and a one-time inventory tax on cigarettes, which raised approximately $36 million.
Food service provider Aramark and stadium operator SMG have contributed the remaining $12 million in costs.
Who will own and operate U.S. Bank Stadium?
The stadium will be owned and operated by the MSFA, a public body and political subdivision of the State of Minnesota. The MSFA and the Vikings chose SMG as the new Vikings stadium operator. SMG has extensive experience in operating major sports venues, managing over 200 facilities worldwide, including four NFL stadiums (Soldier Field in Chicago, Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, NRG Stadium in Houston and Everbank Field in Jacksonville). SMG facilities have hosted nine Super Bowls over the years. The company’s experience in that regard will be a fantastic asset as the new Vikings stadium prepares to host Super Bowl LII in 2018 and other major events. SMG has also committed to work with the Minnesota State High School League, colleges, and community groups to secure events that were previously held in the Metrodome. In January 2015, SMG hired Patrick Talty, a former WWE executive, to serve as the stadium’s general manager.
The 10-year contract with SMG includes an annual $6.75 million revenue guarantee to the publicly-owned stadium, which will allow the MSFA to build and maintain its capital and operating reserves to ensure that this stadium remains a world-class facility.
Who will pay to operate the stadium?
The stadium will require approximately $17.5 million annually for operating expenses/capital improvement funding, excluding approximately $3.0-$4.5 of Vikings game-day operating expenses, which gives an approximate total annual amount of $20.5-$22.0 million. Of this, the Vikings have committed to contribute $8.5 million for operating expenses (rent), $1.5 million for capital improvements, and approximately $3.0-$4.5 million for game day expenses, a total of $13.0-$14.5 million, or 63%. The City of Minneapolis will annually contribute $7.5 million and SMG will also guarantee $6.75 million in annual revenue to the MSFA to build and maintain its capital and operating reserves.
What types of events will be hosted in the stadium?
The MSFA will maximize the use of the stadium by attracting events that create economical, fiscal and social benefits to the State and local communities, including NCAA competitions, a Super Bowl, college bowl games, concerts, civic, community and not-for-profit events. In May 2014 the first major event for the new stadium was secured when the National Football League awarded Super Bowl LII to Minnesota during the NFL’s Spring League Meetings. The announcement, which came after several rounds of voting by all 32 NFL owners, was the culmination of months of collaboration by business and community leaders and public officials. Click here to watch Minnesota’s Super Bowl Bid Committee celebrate the victory.
Also in 2014 the stadium was awarded the 2019 NCAA Final Four, and earlier in 2015, the State of Minnesota submitted its bid for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship. While the goal will be to attract major events, the MSFA will also continue to host activities consistent with historic operations of the Metrodome, including high school and amateur sports and other community events.
Is the stadium designed for MLS?
The new stadium does include a customized soccer-specific design plan that will create an authentic, intimate atmosphere to accommodate Major League Soccer (MLS), including a soccer pitch that will meet the 115 x 74 yard MLS and FIFA requirements. The turf surface is currently used in four permanent MLS stadia: Portland, Vancouver, Seattle and New England. The turf at all of these facilities has passed extensive FIFA testing and earned the FIFA RECOMMENDED 2-STAR status. Similar to the experience in many of the European soccer stadiums, the seats will be extremely close to the field.
What will ticket prices be in the new stadium?
For information on products and pricing, click here.
What is the latest update on current Stadium Builders Licenses (SBLs)/ticket sales?
Since the process began on March 5, 2014, Vikings fans have committed to 42,000 seats in the new stadium through the first 20 months of sales. That accounts for more than 85% of the total 49,000 seats with an SBL. Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment (VWSE), the company contracted to market and sell the SBLs, have now contacted all Vikings Season Ticket Members, whose exclusivity expired in January 2015, as well as the fans who signed up for the waitlist. Currently all Vikings fans are eligible to select seats. Great seats, including lower level options, remain.
As a Season Ticket Member, will I have priority on picking my seat?
The Vikings and VWSE developed a fair system based on Season Ticket Members' current status and 2013 location at Mall of America Field that ensured Season Ticket Members had priority for selecting seats at U.S. Bank Stadium. Now that all Season Ticket Members have been contacted, all Vikings fans are eligible to select seats.
If you are a 2013-2015 Season Ticket Member who has not yet selected seats, please call 952-918-8599 to speak with a new stadium representative today or click here for more information.
Will fans have an opportunity to see elements of the new stadium and review a seating process?
Yes, all fans can see, touch, and feel U.S. Bank Stadium at the New Stadium Preview Center, which opened in March 2014 and has already hosted more than 9,000 tours. All fans have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with a personal sales consultant at the Preview Center to discuss benefits and seating options at the new stadium. If you haven’t already scheduled your appointment, do so here.
How many suites are in the new stadium?
The new stadium will include 131 suites of seven unique types, including 23 Turf Suites located directly on the field. To date, more than 100 suites have already been committed, and only three types – Loft, Turf, and Norseman Lounge Mini – have availability. Included tickets range from 10-32 depending on the type of suite selected. Benefits of being a suite holder include club access, field passes, VIP parking passes, access to other events, away game trips and more. Food and beverage costs are also included in the overall price. To sign up for more information on suites, click here.
How many Clubs are in the new stadium?
The new stadium will include six club areas. Benefits of club spaces include private entry, restrooms and VIP parking access, “a la carte” food and beverage options and priority access to purchase seats for select other events.
In early 2015, the Vikings unveiled Club Purple, an all-inclusive space that features lounge-style seating and loge boxes accommodating 8-12 seats. Club Purple will serve as the stadium’s fantasy sports headquarters highlighted by innovative sports content distribution to mobile devices and 4k television displays, as well as video gaming and media broadcast integration. For more information on clubs, click here.
What is a Stadium Builder's License?
A Stadium Builder's License (SBL) is a one-time contribution that grants Season Ticket Members the right to control their seats for a defined term as long as they continue to purchase the corresponding Vikings season tickets on an annual basis. SBLs are used to help finance construction of new stadiums; programs have been used as a finance tool for more than half of all stadium projects in the NFL.
Why are SBLs used?
SBLs are used to help finance construction of new stadiums; programs have been used as a finance tool for more than half of all stadium projects in the NFL. The economics of new stadium construction require a partnership between the state and local governments, the team and the fans. This new stadium cannot be accomplished without the support of fans, and in previous SBL programs around the country, fans have had positive experience with SBLs.
Where does the money from SBLs go?
All net proceeds from SBL programs are directed toward construction costs of U.S. Bank Stadium and stadium infrastructure.
What are the benefits to fans of purchasing an SBL?
How many NFL stadiums have used SBLs?
Currently 17 stadiums that serve as the homes for 18 NFL teams have used SBL programs as a project finance tool, making the Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons the 18th and 19th teams to use SBLs as part of a stadium financing package. Most recently, new stadiums for the Cowboys, 49ers, Jets and Giants were significantly funded by SBL programs. These stadiums have SBL prices that are more than three-four times higher than the program being utilized in this market. For a market comparison, click here.
What are the SBL prices?
The following parameters were established as the initial step in developing and introducing a Stadium Builder’s License program.
For all of the SBL pricing options, click here.
Will there be financing options for SBLs?
Yes, the SBL program includes two financing options for Season Ticket Members to make easier, interest-free payments:
1) An equal installment payment plan, with a down-payment due at signing and interest-free payments prior to the anticipated opening date of the stadium.
2) A finance plan over multiple years, with a down-payment due at signing, interest-free payments prior to the stadium's anticipated opening date, and payments with interest available for five years after the stadium’s opening.
Will fans be able to sell these SBLs?
The SBL will belong to the fan that purchases it to hold, transfer, or sell how he/she sees fit after the first year of the stadium’s opening.
If I don't continue buying season tickets, will the SBL revert back to the MSFA?
The SBL will belong to the fan that purchases it - to hold, transfer or sell it however he/she sees fit after the first year of the stadium’s opening. If the SBL owner defaults for some reason, the license will revert back to the MSFA.
How does this program compare to other markets?
This program is priced three-four times lower than the most recent programs and is very much in line with programs developed in markets similar to Minneapolis-St. Paul. In 2003 the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers developed programs that in today's dollars would be in line with the parameters of the program agreed to by the Vikings and MSFA.
The most recent SBL programs (adjusted for inflation for 2016) include:
* Stadium opening in parentheses
In markets similar to Minneapolis-St. Paul, the following programs (adjusted for inflation for 2016) were utilized:
* Stadium opening in parentheses
For a complete comparison chart of SBL programs, click here.
How was the $125 million SBL program amount determined?
Extensive research was conducted with existing Vikings Season Ticket Members, previous single-game ticket buyers, premium seat holders, existing and potential team sponsors and the general public, which showed that an SBL program is very viable in Minnesota. In fact, the research showed this market could sustain a program of $200 million or higher. However, the MSFA, in consultation with the Vikings, developed parameters for a maximum gross program of $125 million, which is a reasonable program that fits with the Minnesota fan base.