Minneapolis, MN (March 29, 2016) – Another major milestone has been reached at U.S. Bank Stadium as the final fixed seats have now been installed within the seating bowl.
After beginning with the drilling of the seat rails on June 4, 2015, crews ranging from six to 35 workers installed seating rails, seats, cup holders, aisle numbers and Vikings logos in just nine months. In total, Irwin Seating Company installed more than 58,000 fixed seats and nearly 6,000 retractable seats (total stadium capacity is approximately 66,200, which includes wheelchair spaces, limited mobility seating and Club Purple lounge seating).
View images from the last seats being installed recently at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"We're pleased to complete the installation of the seating at U.S. Bank Stadium. The system is intelligently designed and will offer maximum flexibility for events," said Eric Grenz, construction executive, at Mortenson Construction. "The project is on schedule and it is exciting to complete another important milestone in the construction of this amazing facility."
While typical seat installation requires every seat be installed directly to the concrete, at U.S. Bank Stadium the seats are placed on a rail system, which allowed not only a faster installation process, but also will provide flexibility to either remove seats or move them closer together to allow for additional seating. Making the short timeline even more impressive was the challenge of the north side retractable seating, which will allow the stadium to be reconfigured for other events, including hundreds of high school and college baseball games each year. Installation of retractable seats began last October and was completed on March 10.
"The seating in this stadium allows some of the best sightlines for all events; from high school baseball to concerts to soccer to NFL football, we will offer a premier viewing experience, said MSFA Chair Michele Kelm Helgen. "The seats are wider with more legroom and I think event goers will all be pleased. This final seat installation marks another major milestone on our march to opening on time, thanks to the work of Mortenson/Thor and our other stadium partners!"
View images from an overcast day at U.S. Bank Stadium as the glass install on the west side continues.
U.S. Bank Stadium will boast both the closest seats (just 41 feet from the sideline) and the closest turf suites (just 25 feet from the sideline) in the NFL. Fans will have ample space, as seats range from 19 inches to 22 inches wide and from 33 inches to 35 inches between rows.
"This seating design gives U.S. Bank Stadium an intimate feel despite its size and will enhance the home field advantage as our fans will nearly be on top of the playing field," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "Along with a more comfortable seating experience, fans will have incredible views of the field no matter their location."
To date, more than 46,000 seats have been secured by fans, while just four of the 131 suites remain available. Fewer than 4,000 Stadium Builder's Licenses remain.