Vikings stadium bird study in the works

The windows give fans a view of downtown.
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., has a translucent roof and movable front windows. The windows and roof allow natural light to enter into the stadium, and give fans a view of downtown. Stadium shown on February 16, 2016, at 90 percent complete.
Tom Baker for MPR News

An agreement could be announced within weeks to study whether the glass on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is harmful to birds.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said her agency is working to finalize a research proposal to satisfy concerns of the Audubon Society. The group and other bird-protection organizations are worried that massive glass panels on the $1.1 billion stadium's exterior will confuse and kill birds.

In an update for lawmakers, Kelm-Helgen said a study could be announced at a July 15 meeting. She said officials want to examine whether the collision concerns bear out before retrofitting the glass with a special film that cuts down on reflections.

"At this time we first want to find out if we have a problem with the birds or not before we spend the money to put film on the building not knowing if we actually have a problem or not," Kelm-Helgen said.

Earlier this year, Kelm-Helgen said tests of different types of window film were planned, with monitoring by the University of Minnesota.

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