SBD/April 30, 2013/Facilities

Vikings' Stadium Plans Show Retractable Roof Still In Question; Designs Coming Soon

Documents show the new stadium will be nearly 100 feet taller than the Metrodome
The Vikings' new stadium will be "taller and bigger than the Metrodome and will have a sloped roof and possibly, sliding walls, windows or doors that open to the downtown Minneapolis skyline," according to Meryhew & Moore of the Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE. Documents released yesterday provided "the first glimpse" of the project, which is expected to be complete prior to the '16 NFL season. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority "plans to unveil the architect’s preliminary design at a special meeting May 13 at the Guthrie Theater." The 65,500-seat stadium, which "can seat as many as 73,000 fans for special events such as a Super Bowl, will be nearly twice the size of the Metrodome, encompassing up to 1.7 million square feet." The stadium facade "could be made up of a combination of metal panels, Kasota limestone and curtain walls that appear transparent or translucent when lit." It will feature four entrances, but 75% of fans "are expected to enter and exit through the west plaza, which faces downtown." That entrance "could feature sliding and pivoting doors." The stadium’s roof "will be nearly 100 feet taller than the Metrodome’s highest point." The roof "could be permanent or retractable, and include a combination of hard deck and fabric, which would allow sunlight into the building much like the Beijing Water Cube made famous" in the '08 Beijing Games. MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said that all the options for a retractable roof and retractable walls or windows "are still in play" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 4/30). Stadium officials have said that "they will only include retractable elements in the new stadium if sufficient money can be saved from elsewhere in the $975 million project to fund them." In St. Paul, Doug Belden reports the public will "get a chance to review and comment" on the proposal at a May 22 meeting to be held at the Metrodome (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/30).
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