U.S. Bank Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. It is the home stadium of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) and has a seating capacity of 66,655 for most events, but it can be expanded to up to 73,000 for concerts and other special events. The architecture firm HKS, Inc. designed the stadium and opened to the public in July 2016. The stadium’s unique design features a large, transparent roof that allows natural light to filter in while protecting spectators from the elements. The stadium’s exterior is made of a combination of metal panels and glass, and its angular shape gives it a distinctive, futuristic look.

Inside, the stadium features state-of-the-art amenities, including high-definition video boards, a large sound system, and numerous luxury suites and club areas. The stadium’s seating bowl is designed to provide excellent sightlines for all spectators, and its retractable seating system allows the stadium to be transformed into a variety of configurations to accommodate different types of events. 

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis by HKS - Sheet1
U.S. Bank Stadium_ ©Nic Lehoux Photography

What went behind designing U.S. Bank Stadium?

The planning of U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis began in 2007, when the Minnesota Vikings football team began exploring options for a new stadium to replace the outdated Metrodome. The team and the state of Minnesota eventually agreed to a public-private partnership to finance the new stadium, with the Vikings contributing $477 million and the state contributing $348 million. The architectural firm HKS was chosen to design the new stadium, and they worked closely with the Vikings, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, and other stakeholders throughout the planning process. The stadium’s design went through several iterations before the final plan was approved in 2013. One of the key considerations was the stadium’s location, which is situated on a tight site in downtown Minneapolis. HKS designed the stadium to fit within this site, while still providing ample space for seating, amenities, and parking.

HKS drew inspiration from the natural surroundings of Minnesota, incorporating angular shapes and dynamic lines that evoke the ice formations found on nearby lakes and rivers. Another key aspect of HKS’s design philosophy was sustainability. The stadium was designed to be environmentally friendly, with features like a green roof and energy-efficient systems that help reduce its carbon footprint. HKS also prioritised fan experience in its design of U.S. Bank Stadium. The stadium features a variety of seating options, including club seats and luxury suites, as well as multiple restaurants and bars. The massive pivoting doors at the west end of the stadium offer stunning views of the Minneapolis skyline, while the transparent roof allows fans to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without being exposed to the elements. Overall, HKS’s design philosophy for U.S. Bank Stadium was centred on creating a modern, sustainable, and fan-focused venue that reflects the unique character of Minnesota. The stadium has become an iconic landmark in Minneapolis and has played a key role in the revitalisation of the city’s downtown area.

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis by HKS - Sheet2
Inside of U.S. Bank Stadium_ ©Forum News Service / Don Davis

Construction Techniques and Materials Used by HKS | U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis utilised several innovative construction techniques and materials to achieve its unique design and functionality. Here are some examples:

  1. ETFE roof installation: One of the most innovative techniques used in the construction of the stadium was the installation of the ETFE roof. Instead of using traditional scaffolding or cranes, a custom-built “spider crane” was used to lift and position the roof panels into place. This allowed for a more efficient and precise installation process.
  2. Pivoting doors: The stadium’s west end features two massive pivoting doors that can open and close to allow for outdoor events or increased ventilation. The doors were custom-designed and engineered to withstand high winds and extreme weather conditions.
  3. Reinforced concrete seating: The stadium’s seating bowl is made of precast concrete and reinforced with steel, which provides a sturdy and durable foundation for the seating areas. This technique allowed for a faster and more efficient construction process while also ensuring the safety and comfort of fans.
  4. Timber trusses: The stadium’s ETFE roof is supported by a series of timber trusses, which were custom-designed and engineered to meet the unique requirements of the stadium. The use of timber trusses allowed for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly construction process while also creating a warm and inviting atmosphere inside the stadium.
  5. Custom metal panels: The exterior of the stadium is clad in metal panels made of a high-performance aluminium composite material that is lightweight, weather-resistant, and durable. The panels were custom-designed and engineered to meet the unique requirements of the stadium’s complex geometry.
  6. Glass: Glass was used in several stadium areas, including the massive windows on the north and south sides and the pivoting doors at the west end. The use of glass allows natural light to enter the stadium and creates a connection between the interior and exterior spaces.

Overall, the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium was a complex and challenging project requiring high expertise and innovation. Advanced construction techniques, such as the spider crane, custom-designed pivoting doors, reinforced concrete seating, and timber trusses, allowed HKS and the construction team to bring their vision for the stadium to life. The result is a stunning and iconic venue that has become a symbol of the city of Minneapolis.

U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis by HKS - Sheet3
Pivoting doors at U.S. Bank Stadium_ ©Bruce Kluckhohn
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis by HKS - Sheet4
ETFE Roof at U.S. Bank Stadium_©Matthew Deery


Sustainability was an important consideration in the design and construction of the U.S. Bank Stadium, and the stadium has implemented several features and practices to minimise its environmental impact. Here are some examples:

  1. LEED certification: The stadium has achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Gold level, the second-highest certification level offered by the U.S. Green Building Council. This certification recognises the stadium’s sustainable design and construction practices.
  2. Green roof: The stadium has a 2.5-acre green roof, which helps to reduce the urban heat island effect and provides natural insulation for the building. The roof also captures rainwater, which is then used to irrigate the surrounding landscape.
  3. Energy efficiency: The stadium is designed to be highly energy-efficient. It features a low-energy HVAC system, LED lighting, and a building automation system that optimises energy use based on occupancy and other factors. Additionally, the stadium has a green roof that helps to reduce heat island effect.
  4. Renewable energy: The stadium has a 2.25-megawatt solar array installed on its roof, generating enough electricity to power its LED lighting system. In addition, the stadium has a partnership with a local utility company to purchase wind energy credits, which offset the stadium’s energy consumption.
  5. Water conservation: The stadium has a rainwater collection system that captures and stores rainwater for use in irrigation and other non-potable water applications. The stadium also features water-efficient plumbing fixtures and a system that recycles water from the ice-making process.
  6. Sustainable materials: The stadium was constructed using sustainable materials, including recycled steel and concrete, and locally sourced materials were used whenever possible to reduce transportation emissions.
  7. Recycling and waste management: The stadium has implemented a comprehensive recycling and waste management program, which includes recycling stations throughout the facility and a system for composting food waste.
  8. Bike facilities: The stadium has bike racks and a bike valet service, encouraging fans to use alternative modes of transportation and reducing the number of cars on the road.
U.S. Bank Stadium _ ©Joe Aker/Aker imaging

In conclusion, the design of the U.S. Bank Stadium is a striking example of modern architecture. Its angular shape, use of metal panels and glass, and transparent roof create a futuristic and visually stunning exterior. The stadium’s angular shape, metal panel, and glass exterior give it a distinctive look that has become an iconic part of the Minneapolis skyline. e. Inside, the stadium features state-of-the-art amenities and a seating bowl that provides excellent sightlines for all spectators. The retractable seating system allows for various configurations, making it a versatile space for hosting various events. The stadium’s design successfully balances form and function, creating a unique and iconic venue that has become a source of pride for Minneapolis. 


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  2. Mark A. Williams (2018). U.S. Bank Stadium Innovation Reveal [online]. Available at: https://www.hksinc.com/our-news/articles/u-s-bank-stadium-design-innovation-reveal/ [Accessed on 3rd May, 2023]
  3. Wikipedia, (2023). U.S. Bank Stadium [online]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Bank_Stadium [Accessed on 3rd May, 2023; Edited on 1st May, 2023]
  4. Vector Foiltec (2023). U.S. Bank Stadium [online]. Available at: https://www.vector-foiltec.com/de/projects/u-s-bank-stadium-transparent/ [Accessed on 4th May, 2023]
  5. Naasir Akailvi (2023). Report: $231 million needed to maintain U.S. Bank Stadium for next decade [online]. Available at: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/231-million-needed-to-maintain-us-bank-stadium-for-next-decade/89-9cdbb206-b877-47ee-b3aa-205bf03b5c68 [Accessed on 4th May, 2023]
  6. ALSD, (2018). Dive Deep into U.S. Bank Stadium, the Home of the Minnesota Vikings and Super Bowl LII [YouTube Video]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtIeuAdhJXw [Accessed on 3rd May, 2023].

Anushree Nehra is an architect and Urban Designer who has worked in more than 40 cities in India within just 4 years. She's got eyes to see beyond what's visible. The relationship between traditional and contemporary concepts intrigues her and she wishes to unfold them through her writings.