02.01.18

The Big Game’s MVPs

Meet the game’s real MVPs. They might not be on the field on Sunday, but this game wouldn’t have been possible without them. They’re your union friends and neighbors, whose quality work at U.S. Bank Stadium created a stage worthy of national attention. With nearly 3.5 million hours of hard work between them just on the stadium, they’re the people who build this state. Minnesota, meet your elevators.

Over 1,000 workers contributed to the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, but Tim Sturdivant’s sons like to joke that he built it all by himself. While there may have been a few others on the job with him, Tim was there every step of the way as a cement mason with Local 633. From taking down the old Metrodome to working on the new columns and fittings, he’s played an important role in bringing the stadium to life. Tim’s proud of his union quality, and if you’re lucky enough, he might just give you a tour of the stadium, complete with stories from the jobsite on how he brought the design to life.

For Tammy Otto, being an insulator is in her genes. Her father was an insulator, and after perusing a few other job options and deciding art school wasn’t for her, she joined the family trade. As a foreman on the job, she made sure her crew stayed safe while insulating the stadium’s pipes. And at those kind of heights, Tammy’s leadership was crucial. She couldn’t have done it without the support of her partner and family, who like to point out all the jobs in the city she’s worked on. And with that kind of quality work, who can blame them.

U.S. Bank Stadium holds lots of memories for Ben Long. As a labor foreman on the job, he helped create this signature piece of the Minneapolis skyline, and it’s one of his favorite subjects to photograph. That’s why when it came time to propose to his now-wife, the location was a no-brainer. The massive scale and tight deadlines didn’t stop him from pouring his heart and soul into the project. As all the workers signed the final beam before it was raised, Ben made sure his name was nice and big, so a part of him would always be with the stadium.

Jevon Jackson loves driving by U.S. Bank Stadium with his son. He’s excited for the day his son will fully understand when he says, “I built that.” As a roofer on the job with Local 96, Jevon admits it wasn’t without challenges. The steep slope meant an extra focus on safety, making sure no tools were dropped on such a bustling worksite. Still, he felt honored to get the chance to work on something of this scale. “I still feel blessed to be chosen,” he said. “I can say I did that.”