- If the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority approves the plan this coming Friday, the Minnesota Vikings and the MSFA will split the $300,000 bill for a three-year study on whether the new U.S. Bank stadium's 200,000-square-foot glass exterior poses a danger to migrating birds, the Star Tribune reported.
- All with the assistance of the Audubon Society and its Minnesota chapters, team officials and the MSFA will begin to design the study "immediately" upon approval, monitor the birds during 2017 and 2018 and then report on their findings in 2019, at which time they will develop a solution if necessary.
- Since construction began on the $1.1 billion Minneapolis facility, bird activists have attended MSFA meetings in order to express their concern that the massive amount of glass on the stadium and the accompanying 1,000 trees in the landscaping plan will lure birds from their migratory path along the Mississippi River flyway and cause them to crash into the side of the building.
Team officials said there have been no observed problems with birds thus far but added that they will go forward with a study to be "good community partners." At several points during construction, MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen referenced a glass film being developed by 3M that would keep birds from flying into the stadium, but so far, it has not been presented for use. At one point, bird advocate Ann Laughlin called the glass film "nonexistent."
State Sen. Scott Dibble said the MSFA-Viking study represented "more stalling" on the issue and said stadium officials should install the aforementioned protective film on the building and then study the success of that instead. Although the Audubon Society will take part in the study, the society's officials said they were disappointed that the study would start so late and that they would have to wait until 2019 to discover whether the stadium posed a danger to the birds. In addition, the Audubon Society suggested a separate, longer study to measure the impact of the trees around the stadium when they have had time to mature.
In an interesting twist, according to the Star Tribune, subsequent to the approval process for the U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota enacted bird-safe design rules for publicly funded buildings.