Why the Sun Won’t Shine for the NCAA’s Final Four

Photo: Steve Bergerson, Courtesy of SMG & U.S. Bank Stadium.

Contrary to the growing daylighting trend, the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis will temporarily obstruct all natural light in the name of television. As host of the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament’s Final Four, the stadium is installing heavy, gray curtains that will block the venue’s skyline view.

According to Patrick Talty, the stadium’s general manager, the bid for the Final Four required a way to darken the venue and keep lighting consistent for televising the games.

The fabric and installation equipment total $4.6 million from the stadium’s capital improvement fund. “This puts us in a great marketing position in getting us ready to sell and host large events,” says Michael Vekich, chairman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the public board overseeing the stadium.

The curtains will be repurposed for religious events inside the stadium and draped fabric along the stadium’s east and west ends will be used to improve the acoustics of upcoming concerts, including Garth Brooks this May.

As stated in the Star Tribune, installation of the curtains can take up to a week and everything must be in place by April 1, including the curtains, a basketball floor, an overhead scoreboard and an additional 14,000 seats.

The national semifinal games will take place on April 6, and the national championship game will be held on April 8.