Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.
The decision to use ordinary glass in the Minnesota Vikings new stadium was about more than money. Money might have been reason number three, particularly at this moment.
I visited by phone this afternoon (Friday) with Jennifer Hathaway, director of communications for the Metropolitan Sports Facility Authority (MSFA), and authority chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. The MSFA is the agency guiding construction.
The design of the stadium, I was told, was specific in use of glass that allowed people inside to see outside and people outside to see inside. This will be an enclosed stadium with as much open-air ambiance as can be provided.
Bird-safe (fritted) glass would not accommodate that design.
In addition, manufacture of the glass takes five months, Ms. Kelm-Helgen said. Installation of the glass is scheduled to begin in December.
September, October, November ….
The construction schedule does not allow for a two-month delay.
Cost of the bird-friendly glass, given in earlier stories as $1.1 million, actually would be closer to $1.4 million, according to Ms. Kelm-Helgen.
She pointed out that the MSFA has agreed to Audubon Minnesota requests for particular kinds of stadium lighting. Audubon presented the MSFA with a list of operational and design elements that would add a lighting-based bird-safe dimension to the stadium.
Fritted glass appears to never have been an option.
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