Conservationists are working against the clock to save the thousands of birds that could die with the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. The stadium, which is expected to have 200,000 square feet of glass windows, will provide a huge risk of collision for migrating birds.
Every year, up to 988 million birds are killed annually in the U.S. by collisions with buildings, especially glass windows, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian Institution. And the stadium is slated to add to that number, after the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) last week rejected calls to use safer types of glass that would save birds.
But all hope is not lost -- the Audubon Society has been in touch with the stadium's developers for months, lobbying them to comply to with state guidelines requiring bond-funded buildings to protect birds from window collisions. While the recent rejection was disappointing, the push hasn't died down.
"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 Audubon Minnesota Executive Director Matthew 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."