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TCF Bank Stadium Warmly Welcomes Minnesota Vikings With Aquatherm Piping Systems

Project
TCF Bank Stadium/Radiant Field Heating
Products Used
Blue Pipe® Coiled Blue Pipe® 
Location / Date
Minneapolis
Spring 2014

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Using heat-fused Aquatherm eliminated the need for roughly 4,000 mechanical joints, most of which would be buried beneath the playing field
  • Designers liked that the entire field heating system, which included several hundred sections of pipe and thousands of fittings and manifolds would be seamless
  • Aquatherm handled the required higher-than-normal temperatures necessitated by the aggregate substrate beneath the synthetic turf field
  • The design team liked the fact that Aquatherm pipe has very low oxygen permeation and therefore did not require an oxygen barrier, saving additional cost
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The Challenge

Finding a single pipe material to provide 38 miles worth of ultrareliable radiant heating to the stadium’s new playing surface 

The Solution

Aquatherm Blue Pipe® was able to handle higher operating temperatures than most other thermoplastic systems and the entire system was leak-free, while offering a 10-year multimillion dollar warranty


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Cold weather and football just seem to go together, but frozen fields and football have a tendency to draw complaints, especially from NFL players who know that a frozen field is about as cushy as a slab of concrete.

That put the Minnesota Vikings, homeless last season (they had played previous seasons in the re-inflated Metrodome following the roof ’s collapse in 2010), between a rock and very hard place when it came to relocating to TCF Bank Stadium (home of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers) for the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons. After all, Brett Favre played his last career game there, sustaining a head injury when Chicago Bears Corey Wootton slammed him into the frozen TCF turf.

The memory was still fresh when the Vikings chose TCF as their temporary home while their new indoor stadium was being built. Some changes would have to occur before the stadium was ready for NFL play – among them the installation of a new hydronic heating system, complete with 38 miles of Aquatherm Blue Pipe® filled with DOWFROST™ HD Inhibited Propylene Glycol-based Heat Transfer Fluid, to keep the turf field from freezing.