The Vikings' new stadium will be an architectural marvel, soaring into the skies above Minneapolis and featuring 200,000 square feet of exposed glass. It'll be an impressive testament to the team ... and, if the Audubon Society is to be believed, a gargantuan deathtrap for birds.
The problem with the stadium, according to the Audubon Society, is that birds will fly straight into its windows, assuming that the reflection of the parkland around the stadium is just more open space. Nothing goes with a football game like some bird mortality, right?
The Audubon Society has worked with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to try to reach some kind of accommodation. The authority has agreed to dim the stadium's lights at night, but did not agree to additional glazing on the glass to cut down on reflectivity.
“The huge expanses of glass, especially facing a new park, are a real cause for concern,” said Joanna Eckles of Audubon Minnesota. “Our request was that they meet either the state requirement or the nationally recognized LEED standard for bird safety. In the end, they did neither.”
The stadium will cost an estimated $1 billion. It's projected to open in 2016, and will host the 2018 Super Bowl.
Of note: five of the 32 teams in the NFL have bird-based names. Perhaps the Vikings are thinking much bigger than any of us even expect.