Construction on the $1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium reached the halfway point Wednesday.
Vikings co-owner and president Mark Wilf welcomed Twin Cities and national media for a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium in downtown Minneapolis to mark the latest building milestone.
According to ESPN reporter Ben Goessling, Wilf said that $400 million has been spent on the building so far, with the total cost expected to hit $1.027 billion when work is completed by July 2016, according to Vikings.com. Just under half of this is being paid for by Minnesota taxpayers.
Other revelations from the tour include that the stadium – which will host the Super Bowl in 2018 and the NCAA Final Four in 2019 – will have a system of catching and melting snow that forms on the roof; and that more than 1 million hours have been worked by those involved in the construction.
Speaking of the roof, work on the structure, 60 percent of which will be made of transparent, ETFE resin, is expected to begin this June.
Reporters were also given a look at the stadium's concourses, where there will be 100,000 more square feet of space than at the Metrodome.
It comes after work has already started on installing the controversial glass window panes that will surround the structure, which has prompted criticism from environmental groups about the impact it will have on migratory birds.
The Star Tribune reports work was due to start on putting in place 10,000 panes that will form "the skin" of the stadium, but they won't be the "bird-safe" etched windows that waterfowl advocates had asked for.