U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is one of the most expensive stadiums in the world. However, it is not free from technical defects that come to light from time to time and require considerable financial outlays for repairs.
Replacing leaking facade panels
U.S. Bank Stadium has suffered from numerous defects since it was commissioned in 2016. A year and a half ago, the glazing of the façade on the west side of the building, in which trees were reflected, caused migrating songbirds to crash against the façade, mistaking it for natural habitats. This was feared by bird conservationists from the very start. To this day, this problem has not been resolved. It is considered to cover the glazed surfaces with a special matting film.
Works are currently underway to replace the leaking exterior facade panels. Until recently, they were the showpiece of the facility. From the beginning, however, they aroused controversy, because their colour was much darker than what was presented in the visualizations. The HKS Architects responsible for the design ensure they will be brighter over the years.
The zinc facade panels are to be replaced by this autumn for a total of $ 21 million. On February 28, 2020, the venue’s operator Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) reached an agreement with the stadium contractors regarding the scope of repair works.
Taxpayers will not pay a cent
According to the agreement, main contractor Mortenson Construction and seven other contractors will pay for all panel replacement costs. In February 2020, it was assumed that the works could take up to two years, but the coronavirus pandemic and playing matches behind closed doors accelerated the works.
The plan is to remove 250,000 square feet of exterior panels and replace them with new ones that would be waterproof. The panels were originally designed to allow a small amount of water to pass through. However, this assumption was wrong, as problems related to the leakage of water into the storage areas appeared at the beginning of the stadium's use.
During strong winds the panels were unstable and contractors had to add extra reinforcements to keep them in place. The agreement, which was reached in 2020, was the result of almost two years of mediation between architects, contractors and their insurance companies.
The amounts paid by each of the companies have not been disclosed. Even the contractors themselves do not know how much others are paying. It is known that HKS Architects oversaw the redesign to retain the aesthetics of the current appearance. Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger have done the engineering works and Mortenson Construction is the construction manager.
Author: Tomasz Sobura