Sorry, Birdie: Officials Deny Safety Glass for New Vikings Stadium
After months of pleas from bird lovers everywhere, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said on Friday that it will not add avian-friendly glass to the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said it would cost up to $60 million and delay construction by six months, reported StarTribune.
The Audubon Society, which projects that up to 988 million birds die every year from crashing into buildings, has called the structure a death trap. The MSFA has already agreed to the group’s suggestion to point the structure’s lights downward for bird safety, but the Audubon Society doesn’t think that’s enough.
“The Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium could kill thousands of migratory birds unless the stadium’s builders take immediate action to incorporate bird safe measures,” reads a petition by the organization.
Wildlife advocates have cited a much smaller number, $1 million, as the extra cost to make the billion-dollar stadium less hazardous to birds. Stadium officials say that figure doesn’t include potential revenue losses, such as “possible legal action by contractors seeking compensation for indirect costs of lost business due to schedule changes,” reported The Associated Press.
“I’m not sure I believe that,” said Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds’ Lisa Venable.
The MSFA is considering alternatives, including testing the effectiveness of 3M products that could be applied to the glass—an option bird enthusiast Catherine Hunt called an “insincere public relations maneuver.” According to Kelm-Helgen, an announcement could come by March.
The stadium is scheduled to open in 2016.