MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Workers are putting the finishing touches on the new, $1.1 billion home of the Minnesota Vikings, which will begin hosting athletic matches and concerts this summer.
Ninety-five percent of U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis is complete, and Mortenson Construction expects to have the stadium move-in ready in early June, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/20NY4Zq) reported. Mortenson executive Eric Grenz told the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing construction of the stadium, on Friday that only $40 million in work remains.
With most of the construction work done, the meeting focused on concession signs, personnel matters and hiring around-the-clock staff for the building.
The stadium authority's executive director, Ted Mondale, said the Vikings would acquire a tent for the plaza on the west side of the stadium. The idea is to have an area similar to the tents that used to be on the west side of the old Metrodome, which was razed to make way for the new stadium. The tent will be free to fans on game days and will come down after the NFL season.
MSFA member John Griffith said he wanted to ''encourage the Vikings to come up with something special ... so that it doesn't look like a circus tent.''
''I have every assurance that you will not see the same tents that were at the Dome,'' Mondale responded.
The team also intends to reveal plans soon about its 10,000-square-foot Vikings Voyage Hall of Fame that will cost $1.2 million.
An International Cup soccer match will be the stadium's first athletic event on Aug. 3. Luke Bryan and Metallica concerts are planned later in August. The Vikings' first game at the stadium will be a preseason game Aug. 28 against the San Diego Chargers.
A job fair for the stadium will be held April 26-28 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Patrick Talty, general manager for SMG, which operates the stadium, said that all of the stadium's employers will be at the event and that anyone who shows up ''won't walk away without meeting someone face-to-face.'' Jobs range from security and bartenders to ticket-takers and tour guides.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com