MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - While the work on the U.S. Bank Stadium exterior doesn’t look like much, it will soon be far more noticeable.
On Friday, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority announced that about 10 percent of the stadium’s zinc panels needed removing, not only to repair the water barrier underneath them, but also to attach them more firmly. Those panels are all on the northwest corner of the building, often called the prow, considered the most susceptible to high winds.
While there wasn’t any visible work being done on Monday, Mortenson Construction calls it a mobilization day. Three lifts were put in place outside the building, while materials needed for the repairs were staged elsewhere. The actual work on the exterior should begin later in the week, and it will be hard to miss.
Problems with the panels first came to light in July 2016 when several blew off in severe weather, just before the stadium opened. More panels came off in high winds the day after Christmas and yet more again in March.
Sources say there's been some drama behind the scenes as parties debate the scope of the problem and who pays for it. In the end, no taxpayer money is being used. Debate about safety of events was part of the discussion, too, insiders said.
In the end, on her last day as interim chair of the MFSA, Kathleen Blatz said it was a relatively small number of panels.
“The goal here is that we will have a very secure, stabilized building... something that is permanent,” she told said. “The fix will have to be permanent to really protect the public, and I have full confidence that is occurring right now.”