The Minnesota Vikings’ new home, U.S. Bank Stadium, had a bit of a setback last night during the storms that tore across the Twin Cities. Some of the siding on the east prow of the building, and a couple other places, was loosened and could be seen extending outwards from the side.
Michele Kelm-Helgren, the chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, said that they are not concerned about the problem and that they are now looking into why it happened and how they can prevent it from happening in the future.
“I just wanted to make sure that we told you that we are working with Mortenson (Construction) and HKS (Architects) to not only fix them, they can be fixed,” Kelm-Helgren explained. “Nothing blew off, none of the panels blew off the building and none of the panels, they can all be reused, so they can just be fixed.”
Winds in Tuesday night’s storm reached speeds as high as 80 miles per hour in some areas. But this was not the first time that a storm like that one has passed through the Twin Cities and it surely won’t be the last time, which is why they want to get this problem solved as quickly as possible.
A situation similar to this happened back in February. Panels had to be removed in order to repair water damage that was linked to the snow gutter system. It is believed that the paneling was not securely fastened back on, which is what caused the loosening then.
“It happened before on the west prow. There were a couple that had come loose,” Kelm-Helgren said. “Some of the upper panels, as people know, when they went through and they were doing the fix kind of under the gutter, initially, I think, they thought those panels just came loose because they had been taken off and put back on and maybe they hadn’t been fastened quite enough."
If there is any bright spot to the loosening of the panels, it is that it’s happening now, before the stadium opens. That means all the architects, construction workers and everyone else involved in the construction of the stadium can get in there and figure out what is causing the problem and how they can fix it.
Kelm-Helgren also said they are not worried of the possibility of these panels injuring anyone. She said that none of them fell off, so it is nothing to be concerned about.
“None of them have come off, so if you look at it there’s no concern they will completely disengage from the building, so that’s not the concern,” she said. “They just want to, obviously, understand why it is they are coming loose. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
U.S. Bank Stadium is set to have its ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 22 and then an open house for the fans the two days following.