Sportress of Blogitude

Storm loosens several panels on exterior of new Vikings stadium (pic)

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A severe summer storm that tore through the Twin Cities Tuesday night caused minor damage to the exterior of U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings beginning with the 2016 NFL season.

A report from the Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson indicates officials, from Vikings brass to the chief architects to the general contractor firm overseeing the stadium’s construction reportedly are at a loss over how an estimated 10 black zinc panels came loose.

Mortenson Construction vice president John Wood cited “extreme weather” earlier in the week as the source for why the upper edges of the panels came loose, although it was pointed out during a news conference that none of the panels fell off.

“The panels will not need to be replaced, just reinstalled, unless the panels themselves were damaged,” Wood added.

The stadium, which was built with public and private funds at a cost of over $1 billion, also is dealing with a moisture issue on a parapet wall. While the dampness hasn’t reached the interior of the building, a new moisture barrier is being installed at an estimated cost of $4 million. Mortenson Construction will foot the bill for those repairs.

The cost of repairing loose panels will also be absorbed by Mortenson.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said the team will work with the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority to “get to the bottom of it” and figure out a “permanent fix.”

While no panels fell off the building during Tuesday’s storm, it will be of the utmost importance to find said permanent fix, as an estimated 80,000 tickets have been claimed for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free open house on July 22.

Other events are planned to open up the stadium in the weeks that follow, with the Vikings playing two preseason games in their new home before the first regular-season game ever in U.S. Bank Stadium, a Sept. 18 showdown against the division rival Green Bay Packers.