Coronavirus has virtually shut down all events at U.S. Bank Stadium for the rest of the year, although Minnesota Vikings games are still up for discussion.
The Star Tribune reported on Monday that “the four-year-old stadium has no major events on the fall schedule.” U.S. Bank Stadium typically hosts hundreds of gatherings every year from concerts, business conventions to sporting events.
“John Drum, interim general manager for ASM Global at U.S. Bank Stadium, apprised the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) members of the empty calendar during their regular monthly meeting held via conference call Monday,” the Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson wrote.
Olson added that the Def Leppard — Motley Crue concert scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed to next July. Other major concerts that have yet to set new dates include the Rolling Stones, Kenny Chesney, Rammstein and George Strait.
Despite the postponements and depleted fall schedule, Vikings executive vice president Lester Bagley said the team remains optimistic.
“We are staying close to the NFL, their chief medical officer and Vikings trainers and doctors. These medical and training professionals are optimistic we will play football this season,” Bagley said in the conference call.
The stadium is also still considering Minnesota State High School League games and a holiday bazaar.
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U.S. Bank Stadium Not Facing ‘Imminent Financial Risk’
Although U.S. Bank Stadium is majorly known as the home of the Vikings, the franchise isn’t the only entity financially responsible for the stadium, Olson said:
“Despite the shutdown, the stadium isn’t in imminent financial risk. ASM and the Vikings pay the stadium. The state also makes an annual operating payment.
The Vikings, for example, pay rent and also expenses, such as security and utilities, on game days. If fans aren’t in the building, the team loses concessions revenue.
As part of its contract to operate the building, ASM must meet financial targets for bookings. ASM receives a share of the revenue above the bookings. Although it’s a private company, Drum has previously said employees have faced cost-cutting furloughs.”
ASM has weathered the pandemic relatively well due to most of the major events in the current fiscal year were held before the March shutdown.
Minnesota is currently operating under Phase 3 of Gov. Tim Walz’s “Stay Safe” plan. Restaurants, bars, salons and stores have reopened, but gatherings of larger than 250 people are still prohibited. Massive events remain weeks if not months off, Olson said.
ASM, which operates venues worldwide, is developing “venue shield,” protocols and plans to keep facilities clean and safe when they reopen.
The $1.1 billion stadium opened in August 2016 and has been the site of the 2018 Super Bowl, the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball Final Four and was set to finish its four-year run as host of the Summer X Games before the shutdown.