U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium
"The Ship"
US Bank Stadium Logo.png
US Bank Stadium - West Facade.jpg
View from the west in July 2016
U.S. Bank Stadium is located in Minnesota
U.S. Bank Stadium
U.S. Bank Stadium
Location in Minnesota
U.S. Bank Stadium is located in the United States
U.S. Bank Stadium
U.S. Bank Stadium
Location in the United States
Address401 Chicago Avenue
LocationMinneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates44°58′26″N 93°15′29″W / 44°58′26″N 93°15′29″W / 44.974; -93.258

U.S. Bank Stadium is an enclosed stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Built on the former site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the indoor stadium opened in 2016 and is the home of the Minnesota Vikings (NFL); it also hosts early season college baseball games of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA).

The Vikings played at the Metrodome from 1982 until its closure in 2013; during construction, the Vikings played two seasons (2014, 2015) at the open-air TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.[13] The team's first home was Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington (19611981), now the site of the Mall of America.

On June 17, 2016, U.S. Bank Stadium was deemed substantially complete by contractor Mortenson Construction, six weeks before the ribbon-cutting ceremony and official grand opening on July 22. Authority to use and occupy the stadium was handed over to the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. The Vikings played their first pre-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 28; the home opener of the regular season was in week two against the Green Bay Packers on September 18, a 17–14 victory.[14]

It is the first fixed-roof stadium built in the NFL since Ford Field in Detroit, which opened in 2002. As of March 2015, the overall budget was estimated to be $1.061 billion, with $348 million from the state of Minnesota, $150 million from the city of Minneapolis, and $551 million from the team and private contributions.[7]

U.S. Bank Stadium hosted Super Bowl LII won by the Philadelphia Eagles on February 4, 2018,[15] the ESPN X Games on July 19–22, 2018, and the NCAA Final Four won by the Virginia Cavaliers on April 6–8, 2019. The stadium is also expected to host the 2020 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

Design

From directly east of the stadium: the southeast facade with doors and windows going in, as well as the northeast facade with part of its exterior wall up.
Architectural Form
US Bank Stadium under construction
US Bank Norwegian Inspiration
Transparent roof and walls

While the Vikings' owners wanted an outdoor stadium, the state and local governments would only provide funding for an indoor stadium capable of hosting major events like the Super Bowl and the Final Four. A retractable roof, the trend in 2010s football stadiums, would have been too expensive.[16]

Architecture firm HKS, Inc., also responsible for the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium and the Indianapolis Colts' Lucas Oil Stadium, decided to go for a lightweight translucent roof and glazed entrances with giant pivoting doors, aiming to get as much natural light from the outside as possible. The roof is made up of 60% Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a fluorine-based clear plastic, and is the largest in North America, spanning 240,000 square feet (22,000 m2) supplied and installed by the firm Vector Foiltec. ETFE's low R-factor and the roof's slanted design, inspired by Nordic vernacular architecture, allows the stadium to endure heavy snow loads. Snow accumulates in areas that are more safely and easily accessible, and also moves down the slanted roof into a heated gutter, the water from which drains to the nearby Mississippi River.

The translucent roof and large wall panels also give fans a view of downtown Minneapolis.[17] The glass operable wall panels will allow the stadium to experience some of the outdoor elements while providing protection from the snow, rain, and the cold winter weather.[18] The stadium is aligned northwest and the elevation at street level is approximately 840 feet (255 m) above sea level.

Bird fatalities

Years before construction began on the stadium, local and national conservation groups - including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Audubon Society - requested a "bird-friendly" design of the stadium's exterior using slightly less transparent bird-safe glass.[19] Designers ignored the advice and instead used highly reflective glass for aesthetic reasons. The reflective glass, combined with the stadium lying along the Mississippi Flyway migration route, has resulted in a large number of bird deaths, double any other building in Minneapolis.[19] A "bird fatality study" being financed by the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is expected to be completed in 2019. If changes are made, it will now cost about $10 million to replace the existing glass with bird-safe glass rather than the $1 million it would have added to the original construction.[20]

Crystal Cathedral comparison

The design for U.S. Bank Stadium has been compared to the Crystal Cathedral in southern California, which was created by architect Philip Johnson.[21][22][23] Opened in 1980, Crystal Cathedral was previously considered America's largest glass-dominated building.[clarification needed] The stadium, which likewise sports transparent roofs, walls, and giant rotating doors, has the world's five largest pivoting doors.[24]

Capacity

Sharp sloping angles
Dark facade side of stadium

The seating capacity is 66,860 for most games, slightly more than the Metrodome, and can be expanded to 73,000 for soccer, concerts, and special events, such as the Super Bowl.[25][2]

Attendance record for 2016 season[26]

Opponent Date Attendance
Dallas Cowboys December 1, 2016 66,860
Indianapolis Colts December 18, 2016 66,820
Green Bay Packers September 18, 2016 66,813
Arizona Cardinals November 20, 2016 66,808
Chicago Bears January 1, 2017 66,808
Detroit Lions November 6, 2016 66,807
New York Giants October 3, 2016 66,690
Houston Texans October 9, 2016 66,683

Attendance record for 2017 season

Opponent Date Attendance
Green Bay Packers October 15, 2017 66,848
Cincinnati Bengals December 18, 2017 66,833
Los Angeles Rams November 19, 2017 66,809
Chicago Bears December 31, 2017 66,802
Baltimore Ravens October 22, 2017 66,751
Detroit Lions October 1, 2017 66,730
New Orleans Saints January 14, 2018 66,612
New Orleans Saints September 11, 2017 66,606
Tampa Bay Buccaneers September 24, 2017 66,390