Replacing clear glass with panes that are visible to birds could add between $25 million and $60 million to the cost of building the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, the chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said Friday.
The agency is trying to compromise with the Audubon Society and other critics who have warned that the planned 200,000 square feet of clear glass around the stadium will reflect the surrounding trees and grass and lead birds to fly right into it, killing thousands of them.
Stadium officials have said they will test film coatings, but that stadium construction will proceed in the meantime.
Although environmentalists and stadium officials have bickered for months over the safety of the birds, the facilities authority has not promised to scrap its plan to use clear glass.
The cost of switching to a bird-safe glass, they said, could creep higher if the team has to remain at TCF Bank Stadium for an extra season and if further delays mean paying idle construction crews.