MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is a strong difference in opinion among the organizations who operate U.S. Bank Stadium.
It’s over the proposal to build a permanent fence surrounding the structure.
Right now, crews put up temporary fences for all events. The Vikings organization and the company who runs the stadium, SMG, want a permanent fence.
But the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority thinks it’s uninviting – so does city council member Jacob Frey.
“I think a public stadium, the people’s stadium should be open to the public and I don’t think that a fence accomplished that in any way shape or form,” Frey said.
The Vikings staff points out proposed fence would remain open on non-event days. SMG and Vikings officials say the fence will help with security and safety on event days.
It’s all preliminary, and it’s not clear who would pay for the fence. The groups will keep talking and decide if they will move forward.
Vikings spokesperson Jeff Anderson, sent this statement.
“First and foremost, a permanent fence provides enhanced security while still allowing access to the building 365 days a year. Fan safety is of the utmost importance to the Vikings organization, and one only has to look at the last Vikings home game to understand the need to constantly evaluate and improve security measures. The current temporary fence contains gaps that can allow unintended access, and on multiple occasions after Vikings games we saw the fence had been knocked down or pulled apart. A permanent fence will remove those limitations.
“The second objective is about simplifying navigation and improving aesthetics. The proposed fence will not separate the neighborhood from U.S. Bank Stadium or limit public access to the site. Through a series of gates around the venue, the fence can be open on all non-event days, allowing the public the same access to U.S. Bank Stadium that currently exists. We will simply lock the gates during Vikings games and other major events. This fence actually will allow easier navigation of the site than the current temporary structure and will be an aesthetic improvement to the neighborhood,” Anderson said.