U.S. Bank Stadium Fires Security Firm (Update)

Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune via AP

 GM Patrick Talty confirmed to Pollstar the venue has terminated its contract with Monterrey Security following an investigation into the firm’s operations at the Minneapolis NFL stadium. 

“On Monday night we informed Monterrey Security that we were terminating the contract, after an independent investigation by our law firm Maslon,” Talty said, adding that the investigation included former federal prosecutors and focused on pre-employment background checks, employment screenings and training records.

“Specifically, the employment screenings, background checks, they failed to properly train employees in accordance with state law and didn’t keep records with those.

“They ignored state requirements for the private security industry up here and employed people with disqualifying criminal histories, and didn’t submit people for background checks and used ambiguous event titles as justification for doing so,” Talty added, saying the investigation was very thorough and complete.

 Talty said that the stadium has entered into agreements with G4S (24-hour security of the building) and Whelan Event Services (event security, including concerts) and that those firms are taking over the Monterrey contract that would run into February 2019.

Talty noted that Whelan has NFL experience already including for the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and at the Vikings’ old home at the Metrodome, as well as concerts. G4S “is a major player in the physical security space and has a significant presence in Minneapolis with a good employment base already so they are a natural fit.” 

A statement from venue operator SMG to Pollstar stated, “The safety and security of all guests and employees of U.S. Bank Stadium continues to be our top priority.”

In May it became public that the State of Minnesota Board of Private Detectives and Protective Agent Services had launched an investigation into Monterrey Security’s operations at U.S. Bank Stadium. Local news reports told of a felon working on-field security at Vikings games and Dakota Pipeline protestors sneaking in ropes and other gear.

A Monterrey statement to employees by President and CEO Juan Gaytan, Jr., was provided to Pollstar, saying the security firm was considering challenging the termination.

“Late last night I was informed that Patrick Talty, SMG’s manager in Minnesota, has opted to change the stadium’s security provider amid questions raised in recent months by a former employee,” the memo reads. “During an investigation by SMG’s attorneys, however, it became clear they were not content to simply declare the findings untrue. They began asking questions about why we were offering so many Minnesota residents with a criminal history a second chance opportunity to work as ushers or elevator operators, among other duties.

“That’s a hallmark of Monterrey and what helped us to originally stand out from other companies bidding on the contract. It is a major reason why SMG originally chose our firm.” Gaytan says Monterrey “offered training that exceeded state requirements – but again, we are being told that isn’t enough,” the memo continues.

“In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with state officials, providing them with information as part of their ongoing investigation into the operations of U.S. Bank Stadium,” Gaytan wrote.

The 66,200-capacity U.S. Bank Stadium opened in July of 2016 in time for the Minnesota Vikings’ football season and has hosted major concerts including Coldplay, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Luke Bryan and, most recently, a Sept. 8 show by U2 that brought in a sellout crowd of 43,386 and grossed nearly $4.7 million.