MINNEAPOLIS — The cheer from Redwood Falls resonated in Minneapolis Friday morning when the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority approved Daktronics to supply the large format video, fascia and scoring systems for the new Vikings stadium.
Workers at the Redwood Falls location joined part of the MSFA's monthly meeting via video teleconference to learn they would be making main video boards 13 times larger than what existed at Mall of America Field inside the Metrodome.
"We're proud to be selected by MSFA and the Minnesota Vikings to build on our long-standing relationship by locally manufacturing their new displays in the state of Minnesota at our Redwood Falls factory," said Daktronics CEO Reece Kurtenbach in a **press release**. "The stadium will receive our premier 13HD technology that is currently being used in multiple professional sports facilities. The new display system will be a great addition to the architecture of the stadium and will provide an amazing experience for fans at Vikings games and other events held at the stadium."
The stadium will include more than 25,000 square feet of video displays to take the game-day experience to new levels for Vikings fans.
"Our focus remains on providing a first-class experience to our fans," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "When the process is over and we open this building in 2016, we want to say we did what we could to ensure the best game-day experience possible."
The largest video board will be mounted at the west end of the stadium. It will measure approximately 68 feet tall by 120 feet wide and be flanked by two smaller wing displays. The east end zone will have a main video display that is approximately 50 feet tall by 88 feet wide. It also will be flanked by two smaller wing displays.
The Redwood Falls factory was opened in 2007 when Daktronics, Inc., which started in 1968 in Brookings, S.D., expanded its operations. Officials said more than 200 employees work on approximately $100 million in product annually. They said that the project, which includes exterior creative display systems and a video production control system, will involve four to six weeks of the factory's productive capacity and account for 10-20 percent of its revenue for the upcoming year.
MFSA officials said the technology provided and the bid by Daktronics made them a "clear winner" over competitors. Selection of Daktronics for the video and scoreboards continues the goal of the stadium project for benefitting Minnesota workers.
"The stadium project has always been about Minnesota companies and Minnesota workers," said MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. "The Daktronics contract is a good example of the economic impact of this project. We are thrilled to have a great company like Daktronics commit to the expansion of their manufacturing facility in Redwood Falls. We look forward to this partnership."
View images of the snow deflector being installed at the new Vikings stadium.
The stadium is reaching 50 percent completion and remains on schedule for completion in July 2016, less than 500 days away.
Officials from project leader Mortenson Construction said $400 million in work has been done on the stadium, including $30 million in the month of March, by 228 Minnesota-based firms. Of those companies, 55 are owned by women and 33 are owned by minorities, helping the project continue to exceed its equity goals.
MFSA Equity Director Alex Tittle reported to the board that workforce goals of 32 percent minority workers and six percent female workers have been exceeded for the past year by multiple percentage points and veteran participation has been about five percent. Tittle also said that more than 150 workers have been hired from 16 zip codes that were identified as having high poverty and unemployment rates.
In other action, the MSFA:
— Approved an additional contribution of $19.5 million from the Vikings and the Wilf family, bringing the team/private commitment to nearly $551 million for the total project budget that is now $1.061 billion. The public contribution remains at $498 million.
The $19.5 million investment will go into the overall stadium budget toward plaza enhancements, food service equipment, event level spaces, retractable seating upgrades and a Club Purlple deck that will overlook downtown. **Click here** to read more about this additional contribution.
— Approved the purchase of portions of 4th and 5th Streets from the City of Minneapolis by the end of next month. The acquired portions will be converted to space for the plaza adjacent to the stadium.