Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen decided the best platform to launch a verbal nuclear attack on Lambeau Field was on a golf podcast that went viral over the weekend. The wideout stepped all the way into the ring, throwing a couple of haymakers in the direction of the Green Bay Packers’ home. While it’s great offseason chatter for the rivalry, it may be best to look in the mirror before slamming the Frozen Tundra.
First, let’s just empty out the bag and see what Thielen said.
Now let’s compare and contrast a bit.
Has anyone taken a look at U.S. Bank Stadium lately? It’s not exactly the prime example of what modern, beautiful NFL stadiums are supposed to look like. And yet it’s only five years old.
If you’re curious why it appears U.S. Bank Stadium is melting off its primary coat, it’s because the stadium is getting yet another renovation.
According to WCCO, the new “facelift” will cost approximately $21 million. Because there’s nothing better than shelling out $1 billion to build a new stadium only to have to repair it numerous times before it hits the age of six.
Just two years ago, the stadium was at the top of its game, hosting the Final Four. From football to concerts, it gained local acclaim. But it didn’t take long for the newness to wear off and the structure to wear down — despite past lessons and past promises. (WCCO)
So why is it already getting yet another renovation?
The drainage system broke down and contractors are now starting the final phase of the $21 million facelift.
For some perspective, it took two-and-half years to build the stadium. The panel repair process is expected to take two years.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and Mortenson Construction said in a joint statement, “The new, enhanced exterior enclosure will be designed, engineered, and constructed differently than the original enclosure, and it will provide water barrier redundancies not included in the original design.” (WCCO)
What a disaster!
There’s no sugar-coating it at this point, the Vikings’ home looks disgusting from the outside right now. One can only imagine how miserable it must be driving by such an eyesore every day in the heart of a gorgeous city like Minneapolis. It really is quite a shame.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have Lambeau Field. Surrounded by the brand-new, not-in-need-of-constant-renovations “Titletown,” which helps bring everything together. There are shops, restaurants, areas to skate and tube, and plenty of other activities to be had. Extending out further, Lambeau is surrounded by a residential area. Yes, normal houses planted right next to an NFL stadium. Tell me where else you get that sort of experience?
Thielen says there’s nothing fancy about Lambeau Field and notes the seats are bleachers. Sorry, but not all of us require some VIP experience to attend an NFL game. For some of us, ripping through some Miller Lites while bellowing out “Roll out the Barrel” with ketchup and mustard frozen to our beards in a 10-degree January game is enough to make us happy.
At least Lambeau Field doesn’t kill birds. Picture spending $300,000 to conduct a study on why birds are recklessly flying into the glass windows of your zoo of a stadium only to die — at an alarming rate.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says it could be seven to 10 months before it responds to recommendations to treat glass on U.S. Bank Stadium to mitigate bird deaths.
The authority on Friday reviewed a two-year, $300,000 bird collision study that determined about 100 birds a year die after flying into the Minneapolis stadium’s glass walls. The study found that birds from 42 species, mostly songbirds, had fatal collisions with the stadium over two years. (MPR News, 2019)
Call me crazy, but you just don’t see that at Lambeau Field. Most would prefer to sit in the freezing-cold bleachers and take the brunt of that battle on themselves than sit in a cozy seat at a stadium that has birds flying into it from every angle.
Thielen says there’s nothing fancy about Lambeau Field. It would be tacky to comment about championship banners being fancy, so we don’t need to go down that avenue. Vikings fans have been through enough; there’s no reason to pour salt into the hundreds of open wounds. There’s no need to stoop to that level.
No stadium is without its flaws. While Lambeau Field has soul and a throwback style, U.S. Bank Stadium has constant renovations and a loud, annoying horn. While Lambeau Field has the numbers of Reggie White, Brett Favre, Don Hutson, Bart Starr, and others proudly displayed throughout, U.S. Bank Stadium will have fans this year pointing to one of the many bare spots in the rafters while trying to convince themselves and those around them that Kellen Mond‘s number will someday be hanging there.
Thielen’s point was made, and the note was taken. No NFL stadium is perfect, except for Lambeau Field.