Lerch Bates to Design Facade Access Systems of New Vikings Stadium


$1 Billion Modern Sports Facility to Be Completed Prior to 2016 NFL Season

Lerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, has been selected by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group to design the façade access systems for the new home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

The $1.024 billion stadium is currently being built on 33 acres adjacent to downtown Minneapolis and replaces the 32-year old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The yet-to-be-named multipurpose facility will include approximately 1.75 million square feet, 65,000 seats (expanding to 72,000 seats for the 2018 Super Bowl), seven levels including two general admission concourses and the largest transparent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof in the nation. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new stadium was held in December 2013. Demolition of the Metrodome was completed early last year.

Featuring a soaring prow, the stadium’s dramatic sloped rooftop will be constructed of ETFE, a durable adaptable plastic-like material, on the building’s southern half. It will encompass more than 60 percent of the structure’s roof and span 240,000 square feet. Notable structures around the world that feature ETFE include Beijing National Aquatics Center, constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and colloquially known as the WaterCube, Britain’s Eden Project and Forsyth Barr Stadium in New Zealand.

“Lerch Bates is honored to join the distinguished team of leaders designing the new Minnesota Vikings stadium,” said Lerch Bates Area Vice President – West Jeff Marsh. “This ambitious project combines sustainability, efficient functionality and beautiful geometric architecture. It will instantly become a must-see destination in the Twin Cities and will set a new standard for future indoor stadiums around the world.”

The facility’s bold and progressive design also features five 95 feet high glass doors, the world’s largest, that will open up into a three-acre plaza, 8,000 club seats, 116 suites and a configuration that will put fans closer to the field than any other NFL stadium. Building the stadium is predicted to create 7,500 fulltime and part-time jobs and will require nearly 4.3 million work hours during its 3-year construction. In addition to NFL games, the year-round facility will be capable of hosting other sporting events including college bowl games, MLS soccer, NCAA basketball and baseball as well as motocross, concerts, high school sports events and conventions. The new stadium will be publicly owned by Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) and is expected to open in time for the Vikings’ 2016 season. To learn more, visit newminnesotastadium.com.

Founded in 1947, Lerch Bates is the oldest and largest vertical transportation consulting firm in the world and has built a reputation as the premier designer of façade access systems, permanent equipment and rigs utilized for servicing exterior façades including window washing and maintenance. The firm has consulted on the elevator and façade access systems of many of the world’s tallest buildings including the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1,667-foot Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, 1,476-foot Nanjing Greenland Financial Center in Nanjing, China and 1,389-foot Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, Illinois.

Lerch Bates announced in October that it was selected by global architecture firm AECOM to design the complex façade access system of the temporarily named Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Complex (ESC) in Sacramento, Calif. The National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings will be the primary tenant of ESC although the $477 million facility also will host other sporting events, concerts, conferences, conventions and family oriented entertainment. Totaling more than 600,000 square feet, the arena would include a performance bowl with general and premium seating, spacious suites, indoor standing viewing areas and outdoor plaza with a total capacity of nearly 17,500 guests. Construction of publicly and privately financed ESC is expected to be completed in time for the 2016-17 NBA regular season. Demolition of the site began earlier this summer. The Kings currently play at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, opened in 1988.

Lerch Bates was chosen by MANICA Architecture in 2013 to design the vertical transportation and façade access systems for VTB Stadium and Arena in Moscow, Russia. The massive project, one of the largest projects currently being developed in the Russian Federation, will include the construction of a stadium and an indoor arena within a single building enclosure. The $700 to $750 million sports and entertainment complex features a honeycomb patterned skin that will envelop the 27,000-seat soccer stadium, featuring an oculus over the playing field, and the 11,500-seat multipurpose arena. Completion is expected in 2017.

HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, ranked as one of the top sports and entertainment designers by BD World Architecture, has ushered in a new generation of multi-revenue-generating, world-class facilities. The group’s portfolio includes Cowboys Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, Miller Park and major renovations and additions for U.S. Cellular Field and Dodger Stadium. These venues are known for enhancing and leveraging team brand, delivering an enhanced fan experience and serving as destination environments. HKS is ranked among the top six architectural/engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine, and operates from 27 worldwide offices.