Minnesota’s brand new stadium passes snow test

03.31.2016

The new US Bank stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has already proved its mettle, showing it does not bend under the harsh Midwestern winters. The stadium – which, once completed, will be home to the Minnesota Vikings NFL team – recently passed the dreaded snow test, with its roof withstanding the weight of nearly a foot of snow.

Behind this impressive feat is a unique and ingenious design, as well as 3,000 metric tons of HISTAR® high-strength steels produced by our colleagues at ArcelorMittal Differdange, Luxembourg.

The Metrodome – Minnesota’s former stadium – gave a dramatic demonstration of what can happen when a structure is not 100 percent adapted to its environment. Poorly equipped for the prevailing weather conditions, its roof collapsed in 2011 under the weight of heavy snowfall.

To prevent this from happening again, architects opted for a unique design. Firstly, the slope of the stadium – rising from approximately 205 feet from grade in the east to 272 feet high in the west – gives the building a unique ability to shed snow. Secondly, the use of translucent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) material allows more sunlight and heat through the roof. This, combined with the natural rise of heat from inside the stadium, helps melt the snow and ice. Diverters redirect it into gutters and collection basins located on the edges of the roof, keeping snow and ice from falling to the ground below.

Adding further strength the roof is the more than 3,000 metric tons of HISTAR® high-strength steel (in 65 ksi grade) produced at our Differdange plant in Luxembourg.

Once completed later this year, the 65,000-seat stadium will be the new home of the Minnesota Vikings. Operated by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the stadium will host major sporting competitions – including the 2018 Super Bowl – but also civic, cultural, community and not-for-profit events.

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