MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Monterrey Security, the security company for U.S. Bank Stadium, has been fired. A source told Fox 9 that stadium operator SMG made the decision Monday night. The security shakeup just one year into Monterrey's three-year contract gives the replacement just five days to prepare for Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions game at the stadium.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority confirmed Whelan Event Services and G4S will replace Monterrey.
MSFA and SMG confirmed the decision follows separate investigations into Monterrey's operations by SMG and the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services, which regulates private security firms in the state. An investigation by Minneapolis law firm Maslon found Monterrey failed to comply with state licensing requirements for its employees and failed to conduct adequate background checks.
Whelan Event Services and G4S will be hosting several upcoming job fairs at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Joint statement from MSFA and SMG
"The safety and security of all guests and employees of U.S. Bank Stadium is the MSFA and SMG’s highest priority. This past May, SMG was made aware of the State of Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services' investigation into Monterrey Security’s operations at U.S. Bank Stadium. Subsequently, SMG initiated its own investigation into Monterrey’s operations to ensure that it was performing in compliance with established regulations and policy in accordance with its contract with SMG. That investigation is now complete.
"Apart from any action that the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services might take with respect to licensing Monterrey Security, SMG has terminated its relationship with the organization; Monterrey Security will no longer be providing support at U.S. Bank Stadium. Immediately following this action, Whelan Event Services and G4S began providing security for the stadium’s events and 24-hour security needs. Both of these service providers have a current workforce that is licensed by the State of Minnesota to perform these duties. Whelan Event Services and G4S are committed to continue hiring Minnesotans and are hosting several upcoming job fairs at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"SMG works with several companies that provide security services at the facilities it manages throughout the country. These firms are selected by a fair, data-driven process that is based on their demonstrated ability to perform security operations; and in Minnesota that same process was followed. Monterrey Security was selected after being licensed by the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services. While Monterrey failed to comply with established regulations and policies on an administrative basis, independent assessments of security at U.S. Bank Stadium have validated the existing operational security procedures. The safety and security of all guests and employees of U.S. Bank Stadium continues to be our top priority."
Minnesota Vikings statement
Minnesota Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren released the following statement:
"Vikings leadership met with SMG and MSFA principals yesterday to review the results of the investigation completed by Maslon LLP, and we fully support SMG’s decision to terminate its agreement with Monterrey Security. We have confidence in the selections of Whelan Security and G4S and will assist with the transition plan that has been presented in order to be fully prepared for this Sunday’s game. Whelan Security has a long history of providing security for Vikings games at the Metrodome, and both security providers have licensed workforces capable of performing expected duties at U.S. Bank Stadium. Providing a safe and enjoyable experience for every individual attending or participating in events at U.S. Bank Stadium will always remain our top priority. We will defer any further comment to SMG and the MSFA."
High-profile protest not a factor
MSFA said the firing of Monterrey had nothing to do with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest at U.S. Bank Stadium that drew national attention. In that case, all proper security procedures were followed.
Last January, a pair of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters climbed the rafters of U.S. Bank Stadium and hung a banner that said “DIVEST” and “#NoDAPL” during the Vikings game against the Chicago Bears. The investigation found the protesters entered the stadium through the gates as ticketed guests, and concealed nylon rope, carabiners and a banner underneath winter clothing.
U.S. Bank Stadium home of Super Bowl LII
This was the second year of a three-year contract between SMG and Monterrey to provide 24/7 security at U.S. Bank Stadium. U.S. Bank Stadium opened in July 2016. The stadium will host Super Bowl LII in February 2018.
When Monterrey was hired as the security contractor for the inaugural season at U.S. Bank Stadium, they were touted for their “high standard of excellence with employees in regard to certification and training.” Monterrey is the largest Latino-owned security firm in the Midwest, and more than two-thirds of their workforce is comprised of women or minorities from executive leadership to entry-level employees.