Petition for Bird-Safe Glass in New Vikings Stadium Delivered to Gov. Dayton

Updated: 08/26/2014 2:41 PM
Created: 08/26/2014 2:06 PM
By: Megan Stewart

The National Audubon Society is taking steps to gain support for its push to have bird-safe glass installed in the new Vikings Stadium.

The group is concerned that many birds will die from colliding with the large windows slated to be installed in the facility.

On Tuesday, the organization presented Gov. Mark Dayton with a petition containing more than 70,000 signatures of people across the country in support of the $1 million measure, saying the cost to implement bird-safe glass is about one-tenth of 1 percent of the total $1 billion stadium budget.

Audubon isn't the only one advocating for the birds. The Minneapolis City Council has also formally asked stadium officials to install the 200,000 square feet of bird-safe glass.

The special glass has tiny ceramic dots, called frit, that break up reflections on its surface so birds know to steer clear. It is made by Minnesota-based Viracon, which outfitted the Dallas Cowboys' stadium with the panels.

The Minnesota Vikings and the authority overseeing the stadium told Audubon last year they would turn off stadium lights at night to lower risk to birds. But Audubon says that's only a partial solution.

The Audubon Society said Tuesday that in addition to the glass, stadium officials could also consider using UV-coating or netting to detract birds.

At this point in the building process, the Vikings are stuck with a larger tab then they expected, paying nearly $50 million more to keep the construction on pace.

The Wilfs and the Vikings franchise have agreed to pay $526 million.

This means the Vikings are now paying more than taxpayers, totaling 51 percent of the more than $1 billion project. The team knew the state already capped its contribution.

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