Vikings Stadium: Deathtrap for birds?

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (KARE) – While fans have hailed the design of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium as groundbreaking, a state group that advocates for the well-being of birds is calling the glass enclosed structure a “bird deathtrap”.

Audubon Minnesota Executive Director Matthew Anderson says despite state guidelines set to protect birds from deadly window collisions, the Minnesota Vikings and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority last week rejected calls to use safer types of glass that could prevent collisions as birds migrate along the Mississippi Corridor.

“We’re talking about a billion dollar stadium here, and the cost to save perhaps thousands of migratory birds – and make the Vikings a global leader in green stadium design – is about one-tenth of one percent of that,” said Anderson. “Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money is going to build this stadium, and we know the people of Minnesota do not want their money killing birds. The Vikings recently approved spending millions and millions of additional dollars to make sure the stadium is ‘iconic’ – surely they also want to make sure it’s not a death trap.”

Anderson insists that Audubon first met with MSFA and the Vikings in May 2013 after the stadium design was unveiled to the public, and were backed by the Minnesota DNR and the Minneapolis City Council in urging the construction of a bird-safe structure through glazing techniques and special site lighting. Anderson says Audubon staff communicated regularly with stadium developers until April 2014, when they were told that another meeting would be scheduled before a July 15 decision on the type of glass to be used.

Audubon Minnesota says that meeting was canceled, and staff were told on July 17 that there would be no change in the stadium glass choice to protect birds.

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