Millions of dollars' worth of curtains are being used to block out natural light at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis ahead of the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament's Final Four.
According to Mara Klecker of the Star Tribune, $4.6 million in heavy, gray curtains are being installed as a "darkening solution."
Preventing sunlight from entering the area is needed to keep the lighting consistent, which requires U.S. Bank Stadium officials to eliminate one of the features that the venue is best known for.
While U.S. Bank Stadium manager Patrick Talty lamented the situation by saying, "We have to take our biggest asset away," Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chairman Michael Vekich views the covering process as a good thing.
Vekich noted that by showing U.S. Bank Stadium has versatility, it could lead to more opportunities for the venue: "This puts us in a great marketing position in getting us ready to sell and host large events."
In addition to the Final Four, the curtains will be used for concerts as a means to improve acoustics inside the stadium.
Per Klecker, installation of the curtains can take up to a week. Also, 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 at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 6, and the national championship game will be held two days later on April 8.