U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, was deemed “substantially complete” on Friday, meaning it is ready for business.
The declaration of “substantially complete” is a contract term in the construction industry to indicate that the building has only minor work remaining and is ready for use as intended.
The Vikings will play their first preseason game there on Aug. 28, but a 2016 International Champions Cup soccer game between AC Milan and Chelsea F.C. will take place there on Aug. 3 and back-to-back concerts by Luke Bryan and Metallica will take place on Aug. 19 and Aug. 20, respectively. The stadium will also host Super Bowl LII in 2018 and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
“Today’s achievement is an incredible feat by HKS, Mortenson Construction, the MSFA and the Vikings, as well as the hundreds of subcontractors and thousands of Minnesota men and women who worked on this project over the last two and a half years,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said in a release. “U.S. Bank Stadium was designed with the fan experience as the number one priority, and to accomplish this milestone ahead of schedule is a testament to the talent and dedication by so many.”
Friday’s construction milestone was originally scheduled for July 29 but came six weeks early. Authorities held a groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 3, 2013, and the 1.75 million square-foot stadium was constructed in about 2½ years on the site of the old Metrodome.
More than 8,000 workers have committed more than four million hours on the project to date. The City of Minneapolis issued the building’s certificate of occupancy on June 3.
“Mortenson Construction has done a phenomenal job keeping us ahead of schedule while building the most amazing stadium in the United States,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “Mortenson took building the largest transparent roof in North America and the largest operable doors in the world in stride, and succeeded. We are proud to be their partner.”
The stadium cost $1.1 billion and has seating for up to 70,000 people. It features a fixed-roof design with the largest span of transparent ETFE material in the country covering about 60 percent of the roof; five large glass pivoting doors as tall as 95 feet high; the closest seats to the field in the NFL; seven levels connected by stairs, ramps, escalators and elevators; the first NFL stadium built with LED lighting; increased and enhanced concessions; and 2,000 HD flat screen TVs.
“The stadium stands as a testament to the dedication, expertise, and hard work of so many in the local construction industry,” said John Wood, Senior Vice President at Mortenson Construction. “Mortenson would like to recognize architects HKS for such a magnificent design. U.S. Bank Stadium is the premier stadium in the NFL, and, on behalf of the entire project team, we are proud to hand over the keys to this amazing new facility six weeks early.”
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for July 22 and U.S. Bank Stadium will host free public open houses on July 23 and 24.