MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Bank Stadium officials announced Tuesday that they have fired the firm that was providing security at the facility, after an investigation showed it didn’t comply with state regulations and licensing rules.
The investigation also found that Chicago-based Monterrey Security had unlicensed workers, employees that would normally be disqualified from working and billing irregularities. Minnesota Public Radio News reported that two other firms, Whelan Security and G4S, are taking over stadium and event security.
“That transition went smoothly,” Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairman Michael Vekich said. “We have two professional firms that have been around this business for some time. … I think we can give great assurances to our fans and employees. All of the licensed personnel that are normally here will be provided, and they will be as secure, or even more secure, going forward.”
Monterrey Security won the contract for building and event security before the stadium opened in 2015. Messages left with offices in Minneapolis and in Chicago weren’t immediately returned to The Associated Press.
The Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services voted 4-0 Tuesday not to renew Monterrey’s state security license. The company is no longer licensed to do security work in Minnesota.
The board questioned Monterrey officials about how well they checked people on the field during Minnesota Vikings games. Company representatives said they believed they were complying with state law but would correct any problems.
The Star Tribune reported that board Chairman Richard Hodsdon, in moving to deny the license renewal, said Monterrey had “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of individuals performing security functions” who weren’t properly trained or licensed to do the work under state law.
Firm founder Juan Gaytan, who cried twice during the meeting when discussing his company, said repeatedly that staff who worked at metal detectors and searched bags or who were on the field for Vikings games weren’t providing security functions.
Hodsdon said those workers clearly were performing such functions.
The Vikings said in a statement that team leaders reviewed the investigation’s findings and support the change. The Vikings host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Stadium officials said they began reconsidering Monterrey after the state’s Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board began investigating the firm this spring. Stadium operator SMG has also hired a Minneapolis law firm and two former federal prosecutors to look into the issue.
On Jan. 1, two demonstrators hung a large banner protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline from the stadium rafters during a Vikings game. Stadium officials said the man and woman entered the stadium with tickets and stadium officials said protesters hid their climbing equipment under winter clothing.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org