Vikings stadium breached for night photos

Deadspin published a story with 20 nighttime photos of the Vikings stadium. The photos were well-done, yet came during a trespassing expedition.

It’s crazy how what is technically crime becomes journalism.

Wednesday afternoon on the website Deadspin, a story written by someone named Scott Heins – guessing that’s his real name, but not positive – talked about breaching what passes for security at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

What makes that news? He had photo evidence to prove he’s not making it up.

The story included more than 20 photos of the new stadium. From the inside, the downside and the topside.

But they weren’t on the Vikings' official web site. They were taken by a trespasser and self-proclaimed “urban explorer” at the newly named U.S. Bank Stadium site.

For those who have an appreciation for photography, they could be 2016 calendar shots for Mortenson Construction.

To Deadspin readers, it was a story rife with alliteration, but, to those who consider the job site to be their property, it was akin to someone climbing in through an open window of your house, taking pictures of all the rooms and publishing them for the world to see.

Photography when done well is beautiful. A picture tells a thousand words. Some of the shots taken by Heins when he apparently opted to climb a crane to get panoramic shots tell several thousand words for those with a visual appreciation.

But, many are the criminals that have been busted as the result of bragging about their crimes. It seems like when you do something you know is wrong and get away with it, the temptation to confide in someone is human nature. Jailhouse snitches get time knocked off their sentences when the unsavory decide to brag/spill their guts. Bragging to the world? We know his name now. We didn’t yesterday. He’s done something.

The bigger question is what has he done?

Is Heins a criminal? That will depend on who you ask.

A lot of people have breached building sites to get access to places they shouldn’t be. It’s a badge of honor for some. According to the local 5-0, that’s a crime.

There wasn’t any portion of the new stadium that Heins didn’t breach. He got to the floor. He got to the upper reaches of the stadium to take – pardon the Audubon Society pun – a bird’s eye view of Downtown East.

For those who exult the trolls, the Heins catch-up on stadium construction was a cool diversion from the rest of their day. For those who deal in post-9/11 reality, it’s a very different story.

By all accounts, Heins showed up armed with merely a camera. Considering how easy he made it appear that he gained entrance to the construction site for his nefarious shutterbugging, those who enforce laws – even as dismissible as trespassing – are taking this breach very seriously.

In the view of those who are interested in terroristic types, Heins is harmless – although, if he is using his true identity, there are a lot of rich people who will prefer he be made an example of. But Heins may be the best thing that stadium security has dealt with. If this guy can get in, somebody with bad intentions has the same access.

Or should that be “had” instead of “has.”

You can bet that within minutes of the Deadspin story going live that the Vikings, Mortenson and local and federal law enforcement took a significant interest in what Heins was able to accomplish.

Journalism is what is. Heins is likely to be made an example by law enforcement for advertising his trespassing, but it sends a clear message that the palace that is being constructed wasn’t being properly protected.


Viking Update Top Stories