Vikings Stadium is For the Birds

July 18, 2016

The $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis might be a death trap for migrating birds as they navigate the Mississippi River migratory flyway. Bird advocates say the stadium's 200,000 square feet of glass will confuse some birds, causing them to collide and die.

Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president, said workers at the stadium have seen no impact on birds so far. “But we want to be good community partners, and this is an important issue,” he said.

The study will be paid for by the Vikings football organization and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA). Monitoring of the birds' behaviors will begin in 2017 and last three years, after which MSFA will determine what modifications to the glass areas are needed. Ideas put forth include protective safe film and etched patterns designed to alert the birds to the glass.

Birders aren't satisfied with the study and would like some type of deterrent in place while the study continues. Jerry Bahls, president of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis and a regular at MSFA meetings, said he awaits the details. “We are concerned that all potential areas of bird collisions are closely monitored,” he said, singling out a spot on the building’s north side with a wide ledge below a row of windows that is halfway up the building. Bahls is also concerned about the impact of nonfatal bird crashes, citing a study that found only one-third of bird collisions are fatal.

Source: Star Tribune