MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s another milestone for U.S. Bank Stadium this week as crews begin installing the scoreboards.
For fans who remember the small video boards at the Metrodome, this will be a dramatic change.
The new stadium will feature high definition LED boards that rank in the top-10 in size among NFL stadiums. And they’ve been manufactured by Minnesota workers.
The company that makes the boards, Daktronics, has scoreboard displays in most NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball stadiums.
It’s based in South Dakota, but for this project, all the work is being done at the company’s plant in Redwood Falls, Minn.
“There’s a lot of Vikings fans there,” Jared Coon, installation supervisor for Daktronics, said.
In its bid to do the U.S. Bank Stadium project, Daktronics agreed to expand its Minnesota plant, adding 30,000 square feet and an additional 100 jobs.
“So the impact in Redwood Falls of a project of this size and scale is really significant,” Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, said.
It will take about 30 days to install each scoreboard and to connect all the wiring and electronic feeds to the control room. Crews are also putting up two levels of ribbon board that will circle the stadium.
The large scoreboard that they’re starting with on the east end is actually the small one, at 55 feet high and 95 feet wide. The one on the west end, on the skyline side, will be much bigger – 80 feet high and 120 feet wide.
“They are definitely some of the largest end zone scoreboards in the NFL,” Kelm-Helgen said. “And just the size and scale of what we’re offering, I think is going to be amazing.”
The general superintendent of the project, Dave Mansell, said a lot of time went into designing the stadium in a way that fans would have clear views of the video boards.
“You cannot find a place in the building where you can’t sit and see either scoreboard to watch the action,” he said.
Work continues on other sections of the stadium as well, and crews now have a heated workplace as winter moves in. The stadium is fully enclosed and on schedule.
“This is a huge deal for the scoreboard, and then after we get those guys out of here, through the winter months, next spring we’ll start the asphalt for the turf and look forward to the grand opening,” Mansell said.
The Vikings are also paying for a couple of large LED message boards on the outside of the stadium.
It’s scheduled to open in July of 2016.