Visually stunning architectural design at U.S. Bank Stadium has turned into a ‘death trap’ for nearby birds.
A new report from conservation groups reveals the Minnesota Vikings new glass-plated stadium has killed multiple birds in the surrounding area. Much like when a bird flies into a window, they’ve been unable to identify the reflection caused by the mirrors, slamming hard into them and dying.
“We knew that the glass would be highly confusing to the bird,” study volunteer Jim Sharpsteen told CityPages. “They see a reflection of a blue sky in the glass, they think it’s a blue sky. They see reflections of trees, they think they can land in those reflections of trees. This confirmed what we already believed would be bad.”
The Vikings are taking the matter seriously. They commissioned a $300,000, two-and-a-half-year study with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to find out how many birds were put at risk by the panels earlier this year.
The numbers are somewhat stunning. In 11 weeks in autumn, more than 60 dead birds were discovered. Fourteen more were stunned from hitting the glass. The long-term projections don’t look good either, as analysts are projecting 360 birds will die in the next three years. Keep in mind, those projections only factor in birds found at the stadium, before they’re disposed of by staffers.
Conservationists are looking to have the glass replaced or refitted with a less reflective glass.
Undoubtedly, the glass at U.S. Bank stadium adds visual flair to the stadium. But, the question officials will need to ask is, “is it worth the life of hundreds of birds?” Personally, I’d lean towards no. However, there are millions of dollars at stake, so the right decision might not be the best one for the Vikings.