18 Jan Behind the Scenes Tour: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
This past summer when I was exploring my own backyard in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, I went on a tour of the new U.S. Bank Stadium which officially opened in July of 2016. Since it’s home to the 2018 Super Bowl LII in just a few short weeks, it seemed like a perfect time to share what I saw behind the scenes while touring the new stadium.
We have yet to attend an actual event at the stadium, so I really enjoyed being able to see some of what the facility has to offer on the tour. It was especially neat to get a peek at some of the suites and VIP sections-we definitely wouldn’t make it into those areas for an actual event (although it sure would be nice)!
There are 66,200 seats inside the facility, and the stadium floor and club spaces take up 137,000 square feet. It cost a whopping $1.129 billion dollars to build the stadium, and while it’s home to the Minnesota Vikings football team, it is used for so much more. Plenty of events, both private and public, are held at the U.S. Bank Stadium each year. You can find big name concerts, a variety of sporting events, trade shows and even indoor running and rollerblading days are on the events schedule. During my visit, Land of Lakes was setting up for one of their big corporate events, so we were able to see what a large event at the stadium could look like.
Some of the big-name events that have decided to make the U.S. Bank Stadium their home are the 2017 & 2018 Summer X Games, the 2018 Super Bowl LII, and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four. The stadium is also open for anything from birthday parties, to weddings, to corporate events, so whether you are looking for a spot to host a small private event or big party, they can accommodate you and your guests.
Throughout the stadium, guests will find an array of beautiful design features. Even though the roof isn’t retractable, much of the building and roof is made out of transparent glass materials. This means that even during those frigid Minnesota winter days and surprisingly hot summer days, you can stay inside in a climate-controlled environment and see the sun shining above you. Another fun feature is the 95-foot high glass doors that pivot to open the building to the plaza outside. The view of the downtown skyline from these doors is fantastic, whether they are opened or closed!
One of my favorite features of the stadium is all of the art inside the building was created by local artists. There are some really impressive paintings, murals, and sculptures on display! You can even find Viking history and memorabilia displays throughout the stadium, as well.
There is also a wall filled with helmets from all of the high school football teams in the state of Minnesota. I was able to find the helmet from our hometown of Pelican Rapids with the help of the interactive display map. Our high school sport teams also happen to be named the Vikings, so I guess you could call us Vikings through and through.
The facility is also environmentally friendly and energy efficient, and it has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. The certification was based on many design and operating features, such as offsetting 100% of their energy with renewable energy credits, it was the first NFL stadium to open with LED lighting, there is a sustainability program that is working towards the goal of becoming a zero waste facility, and so much more.
During our tour, we walked through a variety of different seating sections. The stadium has seven levels connected via escalators, elevators, stairs and a continuous ramp. Two of the levels are general admission and the seats are arranged in a 360-degree circle around the field.
There are 131 suites at the stadium and there are seven different layouts for the suites. 23 of the suites, called Turf Suites, are located directly on the field. The suites had a homey feel to them-when we stepped inside, it almost felt like we were standing in someone’s kitchen and living room, only there were views of the field right in front of us!
In addition to the suites, there are also six club areas. We walked through most of the clubs, and while they were all beautiful, the two-story Medtronic Club really stood out with its beautiful design.
The electronics at the U.S. Bank Stadium are also pretty impressive. There are around 2,000 HD flat screen televisions, and approximately 1,300 access points for Wi-Fi, which allows for great internet access throughout the stadium. Plus, the two HD video boards in the facility are two of the largest and highest quality video boards in the NFL. We also had the chance to peek into the press box to see where all the media happens.
And perhaps the most important offering inside the entire stadium: the food! The food and drinks offered throughout the stadium and at the concessions are world-class. They have food available from some of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, and you can find items such as fried chicken from Revival (one of our favorite restaurants in the area!), miniature gourmet cinnamon buns, fresh cheese curds, a variety of bratwursts from the popular Kramarczuk’s, lemongrass meatballs, artisan chocolates, Caribou Coffee, and much more.
Tours of the stadium are offered year-round, unless it is one of the specified blackout dates. Tickets for the tours are typically released 3-6 months in advance and you can purchase tickets online or at the box office. Tours last 90 minutes, and prices start at $19 per adult with discounts offered for children, seniors, students and active military personnel and veterans. Depending on what areas are accessible during your tour, you can expect to see a variety of the following areas: the Vikings Locker Room, premium clubs and suites, field area, interview rooms, the Thomson Reuters Press Level, the Stadium Art Collection, and Legacy Ship.
With all the fascinating features offered throughout the stadium, it’s easy to see why it was chosen to host the 2018 Super Bowl LII. We can’t wait to see if the Vikings will make it to the Super Bowl this year-after the “Minneapolis Miracle” last weekend at the U.S. Bank Stadium, all Vikings fans are pretty excited at the moment. We watched the historic playoff game at a lake cabin with family, and I can’t even imagine how crazy it was inside the stadium. We are certainly rooting for the Vikings to be at the Super Bowl in their own stadium, but, even if they don’t make it all the way, it is sure to be a fantastic event nonetheless! SKOL Vikings!
Have you been to the U.S. Bank Stadium or toured any other stadiums?