Minnesota’s US Bank Stadium, home of the 2018 Super Bowl LII, is a vast slab of asymmetric glass and metal. Dallas-based HKS Architects looked to Nordic architecture, Minnesota culture, and local environmental conditions for their design inspiration.
It’s an architectural marvel with the largest translucent roof in North America and the biggest glass doors in the world and it’s also been decked out with more than $60 million worth of technology. The $1.1 billion home of the Minnesota Vikings aims to deliver the space and technology for the ultimate fan experience.
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"We didn’t want to get caught in the trap of saying this is the most advanced stadium around, because the reality is that a lot of what we're putting in the stadium, there are bits and pieces of it that are being used all over the world in some way, shape or form,” said John Penhollow, Vice President of Corporate and Technology Partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings. “That said, how could we bundle all of the stuff in such a way that it enhances the experience?"
The stadium was designed with a series of new, neutral-host distributed antenna system (DAS) from Verizon Wireless to create an even playing field for wireless carriers. To boost Wi-Fi coverage there are 1,300 different Wi-Fi access points built into the hand rails around the stadium. Penhollow said that “Theoretical, all 66,000 fans could jump onto the Wi-Fi at the same time.” Burstable bandwidth is also available when seat capacity is expanded to 70,000.
The stadium’s app, developed by Silicon Valley tech company VenueNext, allows fans to navigate to their seats, bathrooms, clubs, pro shops, with turn-by-turn navigation. It can direct people to where the great food is, where to park, and which lines are shorter for the bathroom. It allows fans to watch replays directly on their phones and catch other in-game action.
The app also allows fans to order food and drinks from their seats and select express pick-up service rather than waiting in line to order at concession stands. In the future, fans will be able to have food and beverage orders delivered to their seats. To enable all these features, the app integrates functionality from Ticketmaster, Aramark, point-of-sale solution Appetize, seat-upgrade tech Experience, loyalty company Skidata and content app developer Adept.
Around the stadium there are 2,000-plus TVs so you never miss the action. There are also two giants LED video boards above the end zones, positioned as low as possible so fans won’t have to look far away from the action on the field.
They're "very, very low to the field, about as low as we could possibly push it without getting a call from the league office," Penhollow said.
The boards measure 120’ x 68’ and ranks as the 10th largest in the NFL. Also, positioned outside the west entrance is 2,000 square-foot curved LED video board.