Super Bowl LII kicked off today in Minnesota’s US Bank Stadium, which is only a few years old.
Here’s everything you need to know:
1. It’s Located in Downtown Minneapolis, Within Walking Distance to Much of the City
US Bank Stadium is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was built on the former site of the Hubuer H. Humphrey Metrodome and opened in 2016.
2. It’s Home to the Minnesota Vikings
The stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings played in the former Metrodome from 1982 to 2013. During construction of the new stadium, the played at the TCF Bank Stadium, on the University of Minnesota campus. The Vikings played their first pre-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 28. The first regular season game was played on September 18 against the Green Bay Packers.
It also hosts early season University of Minnesota college baseball games and special events like concerts and the Super Bowl.
3. The Roof Allows Fans to Feel Like They’re Outdoors, Without the Cold
The Vikings’ owners wanted to build an outdoor stadium, but state and local governments were only willing to provide funding for an indoor stadium that could also host major events. A retractable roof was not an option, mainly because of costs.
HKS, Inc., the architecture firm that designed US Bank Stadium and also AT&T Stadium and Lucas Oil Stadium, came up with the idea for a lightweight roof that’s translucent enough to let in natural light. The large wall panels give fans a view of downtown Minneapolis, even while indoors. They also give the feeling of being outdoors, as fans can see snow, rain, sun, and other elements.
4. It’s Capacity Can Change for Big Events
US Bank Stadium has a capacity of 66, 665 for most games. It can be expanded for special events like the Super Bowl and concerts, as well as for soccer game. The expanded capacity is 73,000.
5. It Has Had Issues With Bird Fatalities
National conservation groups requested a bird friendly design for the stadium. This would have required less transparent glass, which designers did not use. The stadium sits along the Mississippi Flyaway migration route, and this along with the light glass has caused hundreds of bird deaths. The Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is conducting a bird fatality study, to be completed in 2019.