Are the Vikings whitewashing the bird droppings issue?

How are we going to stop the world’s largest transparent roof from becoming the world’s largest collection of bird excrement?

There are many big unanswered questions associated with the new stadium being constructed for the Minnesota Vikings.

  • How will we pay for our new sports palace if iPad gambling problems continue?
  • Will we be able to host a Super Bowl, so Johnny Manziel and the rest of the Vikings can enjoy home field advantage?
  • Will Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods be served at the new stadium? (If so, I’m guessing polite Minnesotans will call them “Different Foods,” so no one feels bad.)

Those are important questions. But I’m focused on something REALLY important: How are we going to stop the world’s largest transparent roof from becoming the world’s largest collection of bird excrement?

I’m quite serious. Think about it. Your standard automobile windshield is about 15 square feet. At that size, it is a bird shit magnet. But, the saving grace is that your windshield is easily cleaned with a touch of a button, or at least with your feet planted firmly on the ground.

Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings
Your Vikings stadium transparent roof will be 240,000 square feet.

Your Vikings stadium transparent roof, on the other hand, will be 240,000 square feet, the largest such transparent roof in the world. Local birds will have a target that will be difficult to miss. And so far as I know, Zygi Wilf is not springing for a ginormous windshield wiper system. Because of this, over time I’m concerned our transparent roof could end up as gray as the Metrodome roof.

Pioneer Press reporter Bob Sansavere asked about this almost a year ago, and was given a curt answer by the Vikings’ Lester Bagley.

“The ETFE (ethylene-tetraflouroethylene) product is self-cleaning.”

Blue skies, nothing but blue skies, according to Mr. Bagley. Mr. Sansavere didn’t probe for details about that “self cleaning” claim, but I remain curious. How exactly does “self cleaning” work?

  • Do plopping molecules disintegrate when encountering with ethylene-tetraflouroethylene molecules?
  • Is ETFE so darn slippery that bird poop immediately slides off of it? (In which case I have pedestrian-oriented follow-up questions.)
  • Are the Vikings planning to deploy something from Ronald Reagan’s strategic defense initiative (SDI) to protect the roof from sparrow-launched missiles?
  • Do we believe that local grackles will have so much reverence for the dazzling beauty of ETFE that they will voluntarily take their business elsewhere?
  • Can I get this miraculous bird shit-proof technology installed on my car and home?

Mr. Bagley’s “self cleaning” claim might very well be true. But since we taxpayers are buying about half a billion dollars worth of stock in the world’s biggest shrine to ethylene-tetraflouroethylene, I want to hear more.

This post was written by Joe Loveland and originally published on Wry Wing Politics.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Mark Peterson on 04/02/2014 - 11:16 am.

    Bird droppings on new Vikings stadium

    Perhaps the stadium’s architects feel that sufficient rooftop aggregations of “guano blanco” will act as a translucent sun filter, preventing high punts from being lost in the daylight glare. The shadowless light will be a boon to photographers and television production staff, who will relish the perpetual cloudy haze, and which may become a distinctive feature in a venue which badly needs one.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 04/02/2014 - 01:14 pm.

    It would have been less work to look it up than write about it.

    “Due to the non-stick surface dust and dirt do not settle on ETFE easily. However, any dirt or dust that does settle will be easily cleaned by a small amount of rain or water.”

  3. Submitted by Ilverin Curunethir on 04/02/2014 - 02:12 pm.

    Actual information of ETFE and bird droppings

    CNTRL+F bird

  4. Submitted by Joe Loveland on 04/02/2014 - 03:30 pm.

    Thanks for the information

    If the ETFE manufacturer’s promotional claims are correct, that’s good news.

    Glass is slippery and non-stick, and bird droppings stick and dry on glass. So if droppings really do immediately slide right off of ETFE, it must be crazy slippery.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 04/02/2014 - 10:52 pm.

      Teflon’s cousin

      ETFE is in the same chemical family as PTFE which is Teflon. Which is sort of known for some degree of slipperiness . . . . . . . . . .

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