bluemedia engineered this solution for U.S. Bank Stadium, manufactured the curtains and installed the system in time for the Final Four. Watch the video.
March 5, 2019
MINNEAPOLIS — There’s a lot of work to be done at U.S. Bank Stadium before the Final Four gets underway next week.
They have to add a center home scoreboard, Wi-Fi for courtside media, and about 12,000 additional seats. But one of the biggest projects is darkening the stadium’s glass windows and roof. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is paying $4.6 million dollars to put up fabric curtains and panels. It’s required by the NCAA, so no matter the time of day, the practices and games have consistent light. “For all the teams, across the board, because we don’t want anyone to have an unfair advantage,” said Patrick Talty, General Manager of U.S. Bank Stadium.
Theater-like curtains cover the side windows of the stadium, while panels ten feet wide and up to 370 feet long span the glass roof. In all, the 460,000 square feet of roof and glass walls will be covered.
The panels are designed to come down so the stadium can be light or dark depending on what the organizers of a given event want.
“You want it darkened? We can darken it. You want the full effect of the light? You know, if you’ve been here for a Vikings game, you know how great that looks,” said Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. An added benefit, stadium officials say the curtains help with acoustics during games and concerts.
“We partnered with the company that designed the stadium originally, WJHW out of Dallas, and they modeled all the acoustics for us,” said Curtis Schmillen, Director of Operations at U.S. Bank Stadium, “It’s going to help us a lot.”
Stadium officials say it takes five to seven days to put the curtain up, and another five to seven days to take them down again.
As of now, they’re about halfway done putting up all the panels on the roof and about 35-percent done with the curtains on the side windows.
They need to be game ready by April 1. The Final Four gets underway April 6.