The City of St. Paul’s Nick Nelson has a new video out: it shows the turf, basepaths and home plate being installed in the Lowertown Ballpark last week — in just two minutes.
Nelson shot the time-lapse with a GoPro camera installed in the stadium stands just behind home plate. The CHS Field got about 95,000 square feet of sod installed from a Wisconsin farm. It grows the turf for Wrigley Field and Miller Park, as well.
Bird advocates went before the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Friday morning, urging the panel to reconsider its plan to install transparent glass siding on much of the new $1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium under construction in downtown Minneapolis.
Lisa Venable of Minnetonka made her case for warblers, “little creatures that weigh less than an ounce, flying 1,000 miles in one stretch. Do we really want to punish this amazing athlete by building a crystal palace for him to crash into?”
Speaking for several dozen birders at the meeting this morning, she made some new and novel claims to the stadium board, including that the 1918 Migratory Bird Act “protects these birds … there’s a good chance that this glass will eventually have to be changed.”
She asked if the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority could afford to replace the stadium exterior.
MSFA chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the construction would proceed as planned, without a change in the glass.
“It’s about the design of the building … a significant point of the design was to try to have this transparency as you look in and as you look out,” Kelm-Helgen said.
“We are certainly not the tallest glass building in the downtown Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington areas. We do not have the most glass of the buildings downtown,” she said. “I think the same way all these other buildings have managed the issue, which is to turn out the lights during migratory periods, that seems to have been the way many other buildings have managed this. So we’re confident we’ll be able to work with this.”
The Vikings are spiffing up their $1 billion new home a little bit more.
Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the team is adding design upgrades and equipment worth up to about $518,000.
“These things are not significant in and of themselves, but what is significant is we are making progress on the final design details,” said Kelm-Helgen. Executive director Ted Mondale said it raised the total project cost from $1.023 billion to $1.024 billion. The new cash also comes on top of the $477 million they agreed to pay in 2012, as well as the $49 million they have put in over the last year.
The money will fund additional concession amenities, an eighth elevator in the building (in addition to 33 escalators), as well as skyway and press box design upgrades.
The MSFA said today that construction is moving ahead on the project itself. Mortenson Construction said the project is about 23 percent complete, on track for a July 2016 opening. That’s about $185 million of the total project cost.
New money offered by the Minnesota Vikings won’t go toward new “bird safe” glass. Bird supporters demonstrated outside the stadium authority meeting today. They say birds will be hurt and killed flying into transparent sides of the new stadium.
The Audubon Society wants the building to use so-called bird-safe glass because they say the transparent glass planned for the building now will pose a hazard to migrating birds in particular. Read more →
The Vikings have struck a business deal with the State of Minnesota to host a Major League Soccer franchise in the team’s new stadium. The Vikings don’t have a soccer team yet. But Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said a rent agreement would help signal pro soccer that Minneapolis is ready. Lester Bagley, Read more →