Audubon Society to deliver 77k signatures to guv calling for fritted glass on Vikings stadium

Categories: Animals, Vikings
canadawarbler.jpg
Bill Majoros on Flickr Creative Commons
According to Audubon, birds like this Canada Warbler often perish when they collide with glass buildings.
At about 10 a.m. today, the Minnesota Audubon Society will deliver a petition with about 77,000 signatures -- 6,000 or so of them from Minnesotans -- to Gov. Mark Dayton calling for the installation of fritted glass on the new Vikings stadium.

"'The People's Stadium' shouldn't be killing the people's birds," Matthew Anderson, executive director of Audubon Minnesota, tells us.

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The glass the Vikings plan to install on the new stadium's exterior isn't visible to birds, so, as we've covered here on Blotter, Audubon wants the team and/or Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to pony up the roughly $1 million it'd take to pay for fritted glass that will save bird lives by allowing them to see what they're approaching.

But after 14 months of negotiations, officials from the team and MSFA pulled out of talks with Audubon last month, saying they didn't have a budget for the fancy glass. (See examples of local buildings with fritted glass here, here, and here.) That explanation, however, was belied by Zygi and Mark Wilf announcing last week that they'll spend $46 million of their own bucks to cover stadium construction cost overruns.

"[The Vikings] said on July 17 when they called our board member to say they weren't going with the bird-safe glass after 14 months of negotiations that it was because of [finances]," Anderson writes in a text message. "They then repeated that for weeks publicly."

But last week's developments show there's "plenty of money," Anderson adds. "They said it's a design (meaning aesthetics) issue though for last five weeks (until Friday) it was a [money] issue."

Audubon's petition, entitled "Don't fumble on bird safety," says:
The new Minnesota Vikings stadium is primed to become one of Minnesota's biggest bird killers unless quick action is taken. The Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) decided last week to use a form of glass that is extremely deadly to birds, rejecting calls to use safer types of glass that could save thousands of birds each year from fatally colliding with the stadium.

The planned building features nearly 200,000 square feet of glass (that's 4 football fields of glass walls!) and is sited near a major bird migration pathway along the Mississippi River corridor. This decision is a death warrant for birds. This is a billion dollar stadium, and the cost to save thousands of birds by using bird safe glass could cost about one-tenth of one percent of that.

I expect more from both the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Please reverse course immediately and use safer glass for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
We touched base with Joanna Eckles, Audobon's resident glass expert, to get more information on the type of glass Audubon would like to see encasing the new Vikings stadium (glass installation work is set to begin early next year).

(For more, click to page two.)


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45 comments
Nicole Pfeifer
Nicole Pfeifer

We (MN taxpayers) are already paying millions toward the stadium.

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

Lily Ann please enlighten us where these LARGE bird brains are located, you giant, condescending, menstruating cunt.

Doug Ludemann
Doug Ludemann

No Lily. It seems that you are the one that lacks logic in this instance. Cats are DEFINITELY more of a problem for birds. I fucking guarantee it. With science on top!

Doug Ludemann
Doug Ludemann

Both. Collisions with windows represents one of the main anthropogenic (human caused) causes of death to birds. HOWEVER, the scientific reserach that I've read indicates that despite collisions happening everywhere (44% of bird collissions are with people's homes) these types of deaths do not pose a serious threat to entire species. Therefore the emotions that people who want the bird glass and such is the emotions from the death individual birds. Not the loss or extinction of species.

Doug Ludemann
Doug Ludemann

They do have large brains, but this doesn't necessarily correlate to intelligence...which those of us who are intelligent understood that that is what Jon was trying to connote.

Doug Ludemann
Doug Ludemann

Where did you find the info about cars and 400 million. That sounds dubious to me. I know for a fact that feral cats are the number one cause of death in birds. I'm also pretty sure that collisions with structures represents the clear number two danger. (With 44% of collisions happening with residential structures.)

Doug Ludemann
Doug Ludemann

Astonishing that in all this time, not a single structure has been placed in the valley extending from Canada to the Gulf. ...oh wait. I'm being told there are literally thousands of buildings ALREADY erected in the ginormous territory you describe. Weird. I can't believe we haven't heard of any extinctions yet.

Doug Ludemann
Doug Ludemann

44% of bird collisions happen with people's homes. The number one anthropogenic cause of bird death in the usa is feral and outside pet domestic cats. Why don't we worry about the big problems, then work our way down?

Eva Chavarria Hunter
Eva Chavarria Hunter

I'll pay up to ten dollars as long as the developers who are charging over a billion to build it match it!!!!!!

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

Sophie Ray, it's more about the aesthetics of this glass they are proposing. Nobody wanted to pay for a retractable roof so they settled on glass. The vikings are paying for the bug windows that will open at the end of the building so we can have the Spence of being outdoors. If this glass was used it would always feel like it is cloudy outside due to the light that it is blocking out. The metropolitan sports commission has compromised by saying it will leave the lights on at night so that the birds will be able to see that something is there when it is dark.

Chris Strabley
Chris Strabley

Of course it doesn't matter to them, they could care less about the birds. They just need something to feel smug about today.

Chris Strabley
Chris Strabley

Did you give up your car Sophie? Your car alone will probably kill more birds then that window.

Chris Strabley
Chris Strabley

My name's Lily Ann. And I learned two words today, Logic and grammar.

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Clearly logic is a problem for you. Not cats or windows though, huh?

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Just like evolutionary grammar taught you that birds don't run into glass?

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Birds actually have large brains you dipshit. Research before your mouth reacts.

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

LOGIC, Chris. Take a LOGIC class.

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Nobody asked me if I would pay 10. I will pay 10. Also, don't go around making assumptions for me. I speak for myself. Maybe logic and authenticity don't matter THAT much to you.

Sophie Ray
Sophie Ray

We have the technology to make the world a better place, and yet, everyone is against using it, if they feel their resources will be threatened. Thus far, I've yet to see any compromise by those in charge of this decision. They sure have not set up a fund to donate to- NOT that that should be necessary, considering what they are already spending. All of these comments about "dumb birds" shows how little you know about science. They see differently than we do. This is not a matter of intelligence. As for the argument that there are other building that are causing a threat already... yeah. There are. That is completely beside the point. There are also child molesters in the Twin Cities metro, and it sure doesn't mean we should welcome any more.

Sophie Ray
Sophie Ray

I would imagine that those educated enough to have a problem with the stadium also feel strongly about the problem of outdoor cat predation and the role of vehicles in the destruction of our environment. Your comment reminds me of a smoker minimizing their health risks by quoting the likelihood of dying in a car accident. The fact that there are many man made environmental destructions does not make all of them okay.

Jarrett Allen
Jarrett Allen

OMGSH WHO THE HELL CARES!!!!!! if you want it so bad raise your own damn money for it and get over it! the dang thing hasnt even been built yet

Jon Walker Jr.
Jon Walker Jr.

If birds are naturally small brained and stupid enough to fly into glass that's their problem not my wallets

Chad Howard
Chad Howard

Enough already.....all the buildings downtown and along the river best change to than....better replace mine at home too from those bird strikes I get.

Kurt Vatland
Kurt Vatland

Are dead birds really that big a concern honestly or is it a way to appease all the people who hate football n pissed the stadium passed? I honestly dont know... its funny how this get thrown on after it passes to me. I like birds.

Michael Marshall
Michael Marshall

I am curious why they always show every bird accept the only bird that will actually hit it... those rats with wings we call pigeons. Just stop already. Seriously.

Daniel Willert
Daniel Willert

Yup cats are defiantly more of a problem, stop being lemmings people.

Chris Strabley
Chris Strabley

Cats kill 300+ million birds a year, cars close to 400 million. You going to complain about that too?

John Bunch
John Bunch

Bring in peregrin falcons. They will chase the birds off. They could land on Ragnar's arm.

Oliver Utne
Oliver Utne

"Nearly half of North America's bird species spend at least part of their lives in the Mississippi Flyway. Extending north to Canada's tundra and boreal forest, this much-traveled flyway includes the vast Mackenzie River watershed and then follows the mighty Mississippi through America's heartland to the Gulf Coast and continues south as far as Patagonia." -- http://conservation.audubon.org/mississippi-flyway

Johnny M Gayzmonic
Johnny M Gayzmonic

They shouldn't pay for the stadium, but the stadium is going to be built regardless of what any of us think. The best we can do is minimize the impact it will have on the surrounding environment. Signatures don't do anything. Nobody in the government cares about that. The only thing they care about is money.

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

I don't think the stadium should be built at all. But if these people truly value birds, they should be willing to pay $10 each to save those birds' lives.

Teri West
Teri West

Why should the people pay for Ziggy's stadium?? It's not even an issue of money. It's for aesthetics.

Jeffrey Stager
Jeffrey Stager

Let evolution teach the birds to stop running into the glass.

Shawn Spence
Shawn Spence

Not about the money, no matter what they say. It's about aesthetics. My alma mater had long breezeways made of glass and they painted birds on the windows to fool the birds into not flying into them. Or they could buy a bird cannon that makes sound that keeps the birds away.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Yep David Gustafson, that's definitely sound logic. \U0001f615

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

Once it starts raining dead birds on crowds of people waiting in line outside, I bet they'll change their mind.

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

So if these 77,000 people each give ten dollars apiece to the Vikings for the special glass, they've nearly paid for it. But I guess the birds don't matter THAT much to them.

Gary Wisner
Gary Wisner

should have 117K, they can find 50million for over runs, but not 1 mill to stop the bird kill???

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