MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ever since the Vikings’ playoff win over the Saints nine days ago, the NFL has been working non-stop to get it ready for the eyes of the world.
It’s a frantic pace at U.S. Bank Stadium as work continues both inside and outside to accommodate the crush of fans and media. But most importantly, the field itself is taking shape.
As plows and shovels clean up after Monday’s big storm, a more controlled storm is leaving a mark inside U.S. Bank stadium, dressing it up for Super Bowl Sunday and the focus of the world.
This is Ed Mangan’s 29th Super Bowl. As the NFL’s field director, it’s his job to get the field game ready.
“There’s still some more artwork to do on the field,” he said. “We’ve turned it from a Viking home stadium field, into a neutral Super Bowl field.”
Crews just finished painting the end zones, but work continues on the massive halftime show lighting grid.
“It’s encouraging for sure that the field is painted,” the NFL’s senior director of events Eric Finkelstein said. “We still have more elements to add to that, but the list is too long to get into what needs to get done.”
With more than 3,000 credentialed media, more space is needed, so temporary press areas will fill parts of the mezzanine and upper deck.
Finkelstein says despite the delayed start due to a Vikings playoff game, crews are on schedule.
“We still have a long way to go, but we’ve got a lot done to this point,” he said.
If Finkelstein is worried, worried it doesn’t show. Half-time rehearsals start Friday and staging is not yet in place.
“They’re still in the process of finalizing those pieces, physically building them, but they’re all on site outside the building,” he said.
The halftime show rehearsals begin on Friday and will continue through next week. All the foot traffic means they’ll have to repaint some of the field artwork and massage the turf to get it into tip-top condition.