June 28, 2018 06:30 PM
The Minnesota Sport Facilities Authority has approved the purchase of blackout curtains for U.S. Bank Stadium.
The authority board approved the purchase of the curtains unanimously at its Thursday morning meeting.
In total, 460,000 square feet of windows, along with the top and sides of the stadium, will be covered.
The cost for the project is expected to be over $5 million.
"This is a very serious investment for the Authority", said Michael Vekich, the MSFA Chair.
The curtains are needed for the upcoming NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four. The NCAA said the drapes are necessary to ensure consistent lighting for teams.
The MSFA said the curtains will be reusable for other events.
"This is a long-term competitive investment for the facility," Vekich said.
There has been scrutiny when it comes to the project's price tag. But Vekick said the process was competitive.
"I think pricing on it has been very competitive from the start, and the board has authorized us to move forward on a not-to-exceed number, but we still are in negotiating," Vekich said.
Vekich said money will be pulled from the capital reserve fund, made up of contributions from both taxpayers and the Minnesota Vikings.
He said the Vikings have been consulted throughout the entire process. The team is considering a bid for the NFL Draft, which would also require a darkening solution.
Vekich said the MSFA will not be asking the state legislature for any additional funding for the project.
Brandi Powell and Ben Rodgers
Updated: June 28, 2018 06:30 PM
Created: June 28, 2018 01:38 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company