The Minnesota Vikings showed off the new greenery at U.S. Bank Stadium on Tuesday by providing a peek at the laying of the turf.
About a quarter of the field was in place at midday and crews were working steadily to lay more of the massive strips of green that stretched the entire width of the field. The purple Vikings’ end zones hadn’t been put down yet, but it was evident that fans with those seats would be sitting mere feet from the field.
Also on display: the excitement of the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) as the largest public-private project in state history glides toward completion. Vikings vice president Lester Bagley called the turf “one of the last visible milestones” in the new football stadium.
“It’s durable, it’s pliable. Our players are comfortable playing on this product,” Bagley said.
The Vikings practice on identical turf, the Speed Series-S5-M manufactured by UBU Sports of Welland, Ontario, at their indoor facility at Winter Park in Eden Prairie. Several other NFL teams also practice and play on the same turf.
MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen showed how the turf is supplemented with sand and tiny rubber pellets to make it softer. The turf lies on an asphalt floor. For the first event at the new stadium, a soccer match on Aug. 3, the teams will bring in their own real grass, which wasn’t a permanent option for the field because of the roof.
The turf will take up to a month to install. The MSFA also has a hard surface to install over the turf for concerts.
By the time they’re done, 132,000 square feet of turf will have been laid.