Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Friday, October 17, 2014

Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis on the Vikings Stadium Glass

Vikings Poster

Jerry Bahls, the president of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis, is trying to get the word out about four myths about the Vikings Stadium glass issue. He writes:

1) “The fritted glass will be less than perfectly transparent and provide ‘murky’ light and ruin the design.” (This is repeatedly stated as the reason they cannot use bird-safe glass.)

Many buildings use fritted glass, including the Dallas Cowboys new AT&T stadium, and there have been no problems about the visibility. The Javits Center in NYC is an especially good example because of its transparency. It’s difficult to claim that any Vikings fans or other citizens would be concerned at all about this, or that it justifies killing migratory birds.  Here is link to Javits Center that has photos. http://www.bdcnetwork.com/first-look-jacob-k-javits-convention-center-renovation-and-expansion-slideshow

2) “Changing the glass will be too expensive.” (The MSFA and Vikings say cost is not the issue, but cost is a valid concern for taxpayers.)

It will add 1/10 of 1% to the budget – think a couple of hundred dollars on a typical house – and will save energy. The Vikings have plunked down tens of millions on extra amenities, and there are construction contingency funds with way more than what would be needed.

3) “MSFA is still in good faith negotiations with Audubon MN to find alternative solutions to mitigate the bird collisions, other than changing the glass.”

Audubon Minnesota has stated continually for over a year that the current glass is unacceptable and must be changed. Apparently the MSFA has recently agreed to some “lights out” policies that would reduce bird deaths at night, which is welcome, but this is totally separate from the choice of glass.  Here is link that shows dramatic decrease in bird fatalities.
http://sustainability.thomsonreuters.com/2014/09/16/executive-perspective-birds-glass-sports-stadiums/

 4) “The decision has been made and it is too late to change the glass choice.”

The team was made aware of their oversight over a year ago and, just because they stalled making the change and may have incurred some extra costs doesn’t mean birds have to die. It’s the same Minnesota company (they made the glass for the Javits Center) that would make the bird-safe fritted glass, and there is no reason it cannot be manufactured in time.  Here is link to get more info, including who manufactured Javits Glass.  http://www.nycaudubon.org/images/pdf/Fall_2013_Urban_Audubon.pdf


 Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis,

 Jerry Bahls

President

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