April 8, 2019

U.S. Bank Stadium by HKS Hosts NCAA Championship With No Shortage of Style

Mystic Lake’s Club Purple is positioned above the field. Photography by Joe Aker.

The NCAA Final Four took place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on April 6—and the National Championship will be decided there tonight—but it’s not just March Madness hoops action that is exciting attendees: the stadium itself is pretty cool (and sustainable, too). Designed by Loretta Fulvio of HKS, U.S. Bank Stadium has been in the spotlight since its 2016 opening, including as the site of Super Bowl LII in 2018. Its six clubs pose an attractive alternative to traditional stadium seating, offering great views and the chance to see teams leaving locker rooms and entering the field (when home team, the Minnesota Vikings, are playing). But even in the stands, visitors can feel good about making a positive impact: 91 percent of waste is recycled, composted, or donated, due to the concession stands using compostable packaging. And the entire venue is run on wind power.

Read more: HKS’s Loretta Fulvio Decodes U.S. Bank Stadium, Site of Super Bowl LII

LED panels light the Delta Sky360 Club. Photography by Joe Aker.

“It was a common goal for all of us,” says Fulvio, speaking on the stadium’s sustainability. “You can’t deliver a building in this location without it. You want to design an envelope that can take all that pressure with materials that are hard-wearing but natural, like concrete.”

One of the biggest factors of sustainability in U.S. Bank Stadium is the roof, which allows natural light to enter the vast space. Of course, natural light isn’t required for the Final Four championship games, which take place in a darkened setting. In preparation, fabric was attached to roof bays to darken the stadium, curtains created walls, and custom seating was installed on the field space around the court.

The Delta Sky360 Club is located on field/court level. Photography by Joe Aker.

“These are the events that we plan for when conceptualizing the designs and experience, so we’re psyched,” Fulvio says. “I visited Minneapolis in the weeks leading up the Final Four, and you can feel the energy in the air. It’s going to be an amazing experience. For fans, the players, and anyone visiting.”

The venue is both Minnesotan- and Nordic-inspired, referencing its hometown of Minneapolis and its home team. The exterior rises from the horizon like a jagged ice formation, and natural references continue indoors. Stone and wood complements the dominant color, Vikings purple, which is used extensively throughout.

Read more: 13 Sports-Inspired Spaces

HKS put natural elements into play at the Medtronic Club. Photography by Joe Aker.

Minnesotan hospitality was a huge factor for Fulvio, who took note of the experience when designing the six spaces: Mystic Lake’s Club Purple, Delta Sky360 Club, Medtronic Club, FMP Club, Buffalo Wild Wings Club, and Hyundai Club. They feel comfortable, but are also close to the action, and however luxurious the clubs may be, they still feel like home.

“It has been an honor to work on this project because of the people,” Fulvio says, “and how proud they are. It runs in their blood. You can see it in the artwork installed. You can see the personality of the stadium through and through.”

Keep scrolling to see images of the clubs and other features of U.S. Bank Stadium >

Shown here with the football configuration, private lounges feature the signature Vikings purple seating. Photography by Joe Aker.

The FMP Club offers casual lounge seating. Photography by Joe Aker.

The Buffalo Wild Wings Club has a geometric center bar. Photography by Joe Aker.

Fans can high-five their favorite players as they travel from the locker room to the field. Photography by Nic Lehoux.

The Vikings emblem floats above the locker room complex. Photography by Joe Aker.

Local artists contributed the majority of the artwork throughout the venue. Photography by Joe Aker.

Café lighting evokes fireworks. Photography by Joe Aker.

Vikings purple reappears on seating in a private lounge. Photography by Joe Aker.

U.S. Bank Stadium’s exterior silhouette references the jagged ice formation on Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. Photography by Nic Lehoux.

The world’s largest pivoting glass doors invite guests into U.S. Bank Stadium, with views of Minneapolis on the opposite side of the field. Photography by Joe Aker.

Read more: 5 Cool Design Features of Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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