US Bank Stadium to install new artificial turf in 2019
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Bank Stadium’s landlord and main tenant are ready to swap out the turf, less than three years after opening.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is seeking bids for the new artificial field. Potential contractors are invited to the stadium beginning this week as they prepare possible bids.
The stadium operator anticipates having the new playing surface in place a few months ahead of next year’s Minnesota Vikings season. It will be funded through an existing account.
The rate of new turf won’t be known until offers are submitted and a contract is granted. Reports show the current turf was purchased for $1.5 million.
A turf company is set to be chosen by March, with installation occurring in May.
MSFA’s stadium management company, SMG, said it and the Vikings “determined we are approaching the time where the turf needs replacing” and that multiple bidders are projected.
“The periodic replacement of the artificial playing surface is part of the overall capital improvement plan for U.S. Bank Stadium and is typical for stadiums over time. This is to ensure the stadium remains safe and in top condition for all athletes,” SMG said in its written statement.
Under the terms of the bid request, the new turf would have to come with a five-year repair and replacement warranty. Independent testing would be done to comply with player safety standards.
MSFA stressed that the roughly 100,000-square-foot NFL field must come with removable panels for potential baseball alignment. It also must be able to expand for soccer use and have a shock pad durable enough for heavy-duty stadium events.
Vikings ownership and MSFA were required to jointly contribute to a capital improvement account when lawmakers approved the stadium. The account goes toward upgrades to the building over time, and an MSFA official said the new turf would be paid for through the account, which had a balance of $3.2 million as of June.
“We spent a lot of time and money on this incredible building and now we need to make sure we keep it up,” said Lester Bagley, the Vikings executive vice president of public affairs. “The turf is one thing but there are other things that will be coming.”
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org