U.S. Bank Stadium, home of NFL American football team the Minnesota Vikings, is to be fitted with $4.6m (£3.5m/€4.1m) curtains in order to block out natural light during the upcoming finals of the NCAA men’s college basketball championships.

The stadium, which opened in 2016, features a translucent roof and clear wall panels, providing fans with a view of the Minneapolis skyline.

However, the Minnesota Star-Tribune newspaper reports that the stadium’s bid for the event required it to darken the venue so lighting is consistent during television broadcasts.

As a result, black fabric weighing thousands of pounds is being fitted around the stadium ahead of the semi-final games on April 6 and the national championship game two days later.

“We have to take our biggest asset away,” the stadium’s general manager Patrick Talty told the Star-Tribune.

Michael Veckich, chairman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which oversees the running of the stadium, said the fabric would open up more event-hosting possibilities for the event going forward.

“This puts us in a great marketing position in getting us ready to sell and host large events,” he said.

The fabric will be in place for two religious events in 2019 and 2021, and during concerts to improve acoustics.

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