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Minnesota Vikings Stadium: So, About That Bird-Proof Glass

The brand new stadium that the Minnesota Vikings will call home starting in 2016 is now 35% complete, which is pretty impressive. However, it appears that there are still some folks that are hung up on the issue of the glass that will make up a large part of the stadium's construction. . .more specifically, whether or not it will be safe for birds that could be flying through the area. Original estimates said that it would cost an extra $1 million to go with more "bird-proof" glass rather than the glass that's going to be used.

Well, as it turns out, it wouldn't be quite so cheap.

Depending on which Twin Cities media source you want to cite, the cost to go to "bird-proof" glass could increase costs by anywhere from $25 million to $80 million. (The St. Paul Pioneer Press says $40 to $80 million, while the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says anywhere from $25 to $60 million.)

Oh, and there's the minor little issue that swapping out the glass would incur a delay that could potentially prevent the Vikings from playing the 2016 season at the new facility. Michelle Kelm-Helgen, the chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Association, said that the delay would be anywhere from two to six months, cost $10 million in rent from the Vikings, and $6 million from other events.

Not that the bird people care, apparently.

Wayne Swanson of Minnetonka held up a T-shirt with a picture of the stadium on it and some birds and the tag line "Minnesota's newest brain trauma center."

Minnetonka resident Lisa Venable said the authority isn't properly valuing the environmental implications of the project despite repeated expressions of concern from the public.

"I'm starting to think you're creating this building for yourselves," she said.

It's almost enough to make you long for the days of racinos and fireworks, isn't it? At least people griped about those things before the damn stadium was nearly halfway finished.

There are apparently some solutions that are being tested, including a film that is invisible to humans but visible to birds that would deter then from the structure.

Honestly, I don't hate birds or anything. . .I really don't. But it's not as though the construction of the Vikings' new stadium will cause the skies over the Twin Cities to look like that one Hitchcock movie with all those birds in it. (Was that Vertigo? I'm pretty sure it was Vertigo.) There are plenty of other glass buildings in the Twin Cities, and I don't see any of these folks actively jumping up and down and whining about those. If everyone was that concerned about the birds, the time to have changes made has long passed.

The stadium is still going to be awesome, though.