MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Security was noticeably tighter at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday after a tumultuous week for the organization that runs it.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority announced just five days ago they were terminating their contract with Monterrey Security, the group who previously ran much of the security at the stadium.
An internal investigation found the company double-billed the stadium, failed to properly do background checks and hired some workers with criminal records. The decision gave officials less than a week to hire staff for today’s Vikings game.
They did it, and fans noticed a difference.
In place of the yellow security coats are red ones. Whelan Event Services and G4S are now the companies in charge.
Whelan used to run security at the Metrodome. Patrick Talty is the general manager of U.S. Bank Stadium. He said on Friday, “I am confident they are going to provide not only a safe and secure environment, but they are going to continue that world-class service that we expect at U.S. Bank stadium.”
Janice Haxton of Rolling Stone, Minn., said after going through the line, “I get it, I love it, totally because that means everybody’s safe.”
Even though screening guidelines were the same as before, there was more visible security at Sunday’s game and, some say, stricter enforcement.
Like spirited fan Ben Halter.
“Doing a lot better and making an effort to make sure nothing dangerous gets inside the stadium,” Halter said.
And for some, that comes at a cost.
“I think they’re pretty strict. I wouldn’t bring anything bigger than a 4×4 purse,” Tina Gregor said.
Officials believe U.S. Bank Stadium will be safer than ever, now that it’s clearer than ever that rules are rules.
Stephen Morrissey of Hastings said after going through security, “Well, I think they are more strict about bags and they made me take my horns off. And as a bald guy, I’m a little shy about that.”
Both of the new companies worked over the past few days to re-hire many of the Monterrey employees who were properly qualified.