TCF Bank Stadium gets a big makeover

The 4.5-year-old stadium is in the process of having its turf removed.

Nate Gotlieb

TCF Bank Stadium looked like a construction site Tuesday as workers donning hard hats ripped up chunks of turf.

This process began Monday and marked the first step in a multimillion-dollar upgrade to prepare the stadium for hosting Minnesota Vikings games this fall.

Mortenson Construction will install a “hydronic heated field” in June that will “ensure a safe playing surface for the Vikings’ late games in 2014 and 2015,” according to a team release. Additions will also include more storage space, heating, concession upgrades and about 2,000 temporary bleacher seats, the release said.

Those added features are part of an approximately $6.6 million renovation the Vikings are undertaking as they prepare to move into the stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

The University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium Twitter account tweeted Monday that the crew will be finished excavating the turf by Friday. The crew appeared to have about half of it removed Tuesday morning.

The University’s Board of Regents approved the stadium upgrades in February. Per the University’s May 2013 agreement with the Vikings, the team will pay the University $300,000 per game and $125,000 in cash and in-kind donations to a “good neighbor” fund.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is currently building a $975 million multi-purpose stadium, which the Vikings plan to move into before the start of the 2016 season. The $975 million budget includes the cost of the renovations to TCF Bank Stadium.

The Vikings are paying for $477 million to build the new stadium, with state and city dollars covering the remaining $498 million.

The Vikings will play two preseason games at TCF Bank Stadium in August. The Gophers will play their first home game Aug. 28.