U.S. Bank Stadium security firm fired overnight

Executives at Monterrey Security speak with the private detective board.
Juan Gaytan, Jr., left, president and CEO of Monterrey Security, speaks with the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services on Tuesday. He was joined by attorney Gerald Fornwald and Patricia Perez, executive vice president of administration.
Peter Cox | MPR News

Updated 4:45 p.m. | Posted 12 p.m.

U.S. Bank Stadium has fired its security provider and replaced it with two other firms overnight.

"That transition went smoothly," said Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michael Vekich. "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."

Fans arrive at Vikings-Packers game Sunday.
Fans arrive at U.S. Bank Stadium before an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Minneapolis.
Andy Clayton-King | AP 2016

Chicago-based Monterrey Security won the contract for building and event security before the stadium opened in 2015. Daniel Ramos, the company's vice president of operations, did not immediately return a call about the change.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services voted 4-0 not to renew Monterrey's license. It's no longer licensed to do security work in Minnesota.

The board questioned Monterrey officials about how well they vetted people on the field during Minnesota Vikings games. Company representatives said they believed they were complying with state law but would remedy any problems.

Stadium officials said they began reconsidering Monterrey after the state's Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board launched an investigation of the firm this spring, following reports of irregularities that the board wouldn't detail at the time.

Stadium operator SMG has since hired a Minneapolis law firm and two former federal prosecutors to look into the matter.

Vekich, the authority chair, said a report of that investigation has been completed, and the stadium authority and SMG decided to terminate the security contract with Monterrey last night.

Vekich offered some details from the report: "Three major things: they were not in compliance with state regulations and rules of the licensing board. Second they had unlicensed personnel working. Three, they had individuals who would normally be disqualified from working. Also billing irregularities."

He didn't immediately have a dollar figure regarding the financial findings.

SMG, the stadium manager, and the MSFA, brought in two new firms, Whelan Security and G4S to take over the stadium and event security.

G4S guards were at the stadium doors this morning. They were among those that initially bid on the contract, and will run out the rest of the Monterrey contract which ends in February of 2019.

In a statement, the Minnesota Vikings said team leaders have reviewed the results of the investigation and "fully support" the decision to terminate Monterrey Security.

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