Birders threaten lawsuit over new Vikings stadium glass

Audobon Chapter of Minneapolis protests glass
Supporters of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis protested Sunday near the site of the new Vikings stadium.
Curtis Gilbert / MPR News

Bird lovers are threatening to file a lawsuit over the glass planned for the new Vikings stadium.

The Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis argues the 180,000 square feet of glass planned for the building's facade will create a death trap for migrating fowl.

It wants the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to use what's called "bird-safe" glass, which has a coating that makes it less transparent. The authority has rejected that proposal, arguing the etched or "fritted" glass would be less visually attractive.

Previously: Birders worry about glassy new Vikings stadium design

At a protest Saturday in front of the stadium site, author and conservationist Laura Erickson questioned that rationale.

"How exactly do the thuds of crashing birds and the sight of dead and dying creatures littering the ground around the stadium fit into any reasonable person's sense of aesthetics?"

James Gambone has been exploring the group's legal options. At a protest today, he argued the current stadium design violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

"Let me read to you from the act: 'It shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or any manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill' any migratory bird. You've heard all the experts. They're going to kill birds. They're violating this act, and they ignore it," Gambone said.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has rejected the group's demand, arguing bird-safe glass is less visually attractive.

The authority said it already ordered the glass and has agreed to adjust stadium lighting to minimize bird deaths.

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