MINNEAPOLIS – As it prepares for the 2018 Super Bowl, U.S. Bank Stadium is in the news yet again after security personnel confiscated more than 200 weapons at sporting events and concerts in just a half-year period at the stadium’s entrances.
According to security data requested by FOX 9 News, weapons like knives and guns were stopped at the gates during the first six months the stadium has been in operation.
Data shows during regular and pre-season Vikings games, security confiscated 43 knives. Although no firearms were confiscated at the gates for the football games, two guns were checked into the stadium’s gun lockers during the season. The data also shows that security seized 20 other kinds of weapons at Vikings home games. The other weapons are not specified as they can include various items like alcohol flasks or mace spray.
During two concerts, two soccer games, and two Monster Jam events held at the stadium over the past six months, security thwarted 52 knives, 4 guns and 74 other types of weapons from entering the building. The guns were later checked into the stadium’s gun locker. The data reports a grand total of 200 weapons were confiscated at U.S. Bank Stadium’s gates from August 2016 to January 2017.
A stadium spokesman said in a statement, “These (weapons) could be considered any of the prohibited items on our stadium security list that can be used to harm others.” Vikings Stadium A-Z list of prohibited items includes firearms, knives, laser pointers, aerosol cans and fireworks.
U.S. Bank Stadium seen its fair share of bad press in the short time since it opened. On New Year’s Day this year, two Dakota Access Pipeline protesters managed to scale the rafters in the stadium to hang a massive “Divest” banner protesting what they thought was U.S. Bank’s involvement with the Dakota pipeline during a Vikings home game against the Chicago Bears. WCCO reports that security systems were not setup to detect the ropes and gear the pipeline protesters hid under their coats.
In February 2017, Alpha News reported Michele Kelm-Helgen and Ted Mondale of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) resigned after public pressure and a legislative investigation into their inappropriate use of two luxury suites the MSFA controls at the stadium.
U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened July 22, 2016, cost over $1 billion to construct. The Vikings covered nearly $500 million of the costs with the state covering nearly $350 million and the city of Minneapolis covering another $150 million.
Super Bowl LII will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018.