- The Minnesota Vikings have contributed another $1.5 million toward construction of the team's new U.S. Bank stadium in Minneapolis, bringing the Vikings' total contribution to $101 million, according to the Star Tribune.
- The money is earmarked for an outward-facing, 3,000-square-foot video board, the home team locker room, an owner’s suite and women’s restrooms.
- The announcement of additional funding came during a meeting of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Brendan Moore, representing stadium contractor Mortenson Construction, told the MSFA authorities there were 1,300 workers on the site daily; however, the Tribune did not report any discussion of the ongoing mediation between Mortenson and stadium authorities over $15 million in disputed change orders.
However, it’s not an MSFA meeting without a discussion of birds. Also in attendance at the meeting were bird safety activists concerned that the 200,000 square feet of glass walls and roof designed for the stadium would attract migratory birds from the nearby Mississippi River flyway, causing them to smash into the glass and die. Advocate Ann Laughlin said the MSFA hasn't made any significant steps to prevent that from happening.
MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen has said the authority was working with the company 3M to develop a transparent film deterrent to use on the glass, but, in response, Laughlin referred to such a product as "nonexistent film" for the "acres of glass on the building."
Laughlin also expressed concern over the trees in the landscape design of the stadium, as their reflection could attract birds to the glass.
The stadium is the largest public-private project in Minnesota's history, with $348 million in state funding, $150 million from Minneapolis and $477 million from the Vikings, not including this most recent contribution. The stadium is 80% complete and is expected to be finished in time for the state of the 2016 NFL season