The venue for the 2018 Super Bowl defies traditional sports stadium design — take a look inside

Image
The US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Nic Lehoux

The lucky football fans who snagged tickets for the 2018 Super Bowl will venture inside the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday.

The venue does not look like a typical stadium.

Its design follows the style of modern architecture, characterised by geometric forms, glass-steel-and-concrete construction, and an efficient use of space. The stadium’s roof is also partially made of a special plastic film, which helps the interior remain a comfortable temperature during all seasons.

Business Insider spoke with Lance Evans, the venue’s lead architect, about the design.


At the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will play for the 2018 Super Bowl.

Image

Completed in 2016, the downtown venue features a glass facade with sharp lines.


Visitors will enter through 95-foot-tall, 55-foot-wide pivoting doors, the largest in the world.

Image

The building was designed by HKS Architects, the same firm behind the stadiums where the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, and Los Angeles Rams play.

Image

The space spans 1.8 million square feet and can seat 66,200 people.

Image

The US Bank Stadium also features the closest seats to the field in the NFL. The first row is just 41 feet away from the game.

Image

Normally, the venue offers free wifi for up to 30,000 fans. But for Super Bowl LII, the building upgraded its bandwidth to handle the 70,000 people who bought tickets for the game.

Image

Unlike other sports stadiums, this one doesn’t include a retractable roof, largely due to Minnesota’s frigid winters.

Image

“After studying how often the roof would be open, the cost didn’t justify the investment,” Evans said. “Up until now, retractable roofs have been regarded with a certain level of pomp and circumstance.”

Image

Instead, the US Bank Stadium has a roof partly made of a plastic film called ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). During the winter, the material gives natural sunlight to the field and helps the building store heat.

Image

If the designers had used steel, the project would have cost $US3 million more, according to Evans.


Evans said that Super Bowl spectators will “feel like they’re outside” without bearing the cold. Meteorologists predict that the game will have a kick-off temperature of 3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Image

This year’s Super Bowl is expected to be the coldest on record, according to USA Today.


The sloped roof also helps melt snow, which collects in 50-foot-deep gutters around the stadium’s perimeter.

Image

Evans adds that his team aimed for the US Bank Stadium to not become a “border vacuum” that encourages vacancy in the surrounding area on non-game days.

Image

The stadium spurred approximately $US2 billion of surrounding development.


The project is part of a larger redevelopment called the Big Build, which consists of a shopping and pedestrian street, thousands of housing units, a light rail station, and a 4.2-acre urban park. It will be complete in 2025.

Image

The venue connects the city’s existing skyways, an 8-mile system of enclosed walkways that lead to public transit and downtown.


“The stadium project’s focus wasn’t ever about a singular, crowning football game,” Evans said. “While it’s anchored by a large stadium, [the site] also creates a new landscape that will catalyze a more walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhood — an example of how a stadium project can benefit an entire city.”

Image