The U.S. Bank Stadium (the Stadium) is the centrepiece of Minnesota’s redevelopment plan and has a strong social inclusion agenda aimed at benefitting local communities. The Stadium is owned and operated by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (the Authority), which was also responsible for its design and build.
The project aims to maximise economic, fiscal and social benefits for the State of Minnesota (the State) and its communities. Several initiatives that aimed to promote an inclusive agenda were implemented throughout its design, construction and operation, and were set out in an Equity Plan.
The Equity Plan was developed following a mandate by the State, which aimed to ensure its socially inclusive values and vision were reflected in the design and construction of projects. It is part of wider efforts to increase social inclusiveness and reduce discrimination and disparity. On completion of the Stadium, the Equity Plan was extended by the Authority to cover the operations phase.
The Equity Plan includes pragmatic goals to integrate women, minorities and low-income residents into the workforce, and women- and minority-owned businesses into the design and construction activities of the project. Specifically, the Equity Plan outlines how to provide employment and equal access to labour market opportunities, and establishes goals for contracts to be awarded to capable, available and willing women- and minority-owned businesses (refer to Table 1: Target goals and additional achievements of the Equity Plan). Veterans and low-income residents were also included in employment initiatives, with much of the engagement led by specialised employment assistance firms.
Table 1: Target goals and additional achievements of the Equity Plan
As demonstrated in the U.S. Bank Stadium Case Study, approval of work and release of payment was only provided upon successful achievement of workforce utilisation targets and agreed integration of women- or minority-owned businesses in the project. Measures of non-compliance were also stipulated in the contracts between the implementing authority and the private sector.