MINNEAPOLIS - The MInnesota VIkings are looking to add permanent fencing all the way around U.S. Bank Stadium in the name of better security, but the plan may not make it past the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
Temporary security fences were already a mainstay outside US Bank Stadium last season, which is why the Vikings want to make them more permanent.
"The access (to the stadium) will be the same, it won't change," said Lester Bagley, the Vikings Vice President of Public Affairs.
The Vikings Lester Bagley says the team, and stadium operator SMG, are looking to expand parking lot fencing like this, around the stadium... the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority opposes that idea.
"We hold the position that the stadium needs to be connected to the neighborhoods both visually and in fact," said Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA).
The Vikings provided this rendering of the proposed fence, showing gates that could remain open on non-game days... while being more reliable and stable than temporary fences during games.
"Fundamentally it's a stadium security issue, especially given what happened at the last Vikings game," Bagley said.
Begley is referring to protesters who snuck a massive banner through security at the last Vikings home game and, once inside, found a way up to the top of the stadium to hang it.
Kent Erdahl: "Any indication that fencing was part of what (went wrong) in that last game?"
Lester Bagley: "No, it wasn't but it still.. it showed that there are issues related to fan safety and stadium security that need to be addressed."
The Vikings do not have a projected cost for the fencing yet, but say the team doesn't expect to be alone in paying.
"This is not an outrageously expensive matter," Bagley said. "When it's a stadium project, if it's used for Vikings games and for non-Viking games, other events, it's a shared cost."
But the temporary fencing used now is not cost that is shared by the MSFA. Either the Vikings or SMG pay for the temporary fencing depending on the event, and the MSFA isn't interested in changing that.
"It just makes no sense to fence off a public building from the public itself," Kelm-Helgen said.
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