A resolution calling for bird-safe glass in the new Vikings Stadium has been unanimously approved by the Minneapolis City Council.
Before the vote, council members acknowledged that a resolution, as opposed to an ordinance, carries little authority.
“I just want to be clear with the general public,” said Council Member Cam Gordon, “we don’t have any authority and this resolution isn’t able to order the Sports Facilities Authority to do anything with the stadium but hopefully our voice can be joined with other voices.”
The Minnesota Audubon Society has stated that the current design of the stadium using clear glass will kill thousands of migratory birds as they follow the Mississippi River at the change of seasons.
Birds cannot see glass that is transparent. To make glass safe for birds a patterned reflective coating visible to birds — but not humans — is added. The bird-safe glass would add an estimated $1.1 million to the price tag of the new stadium, which is projected to cost nearly $1 billion.
While Council Members favor the more expensive bird-safe glass they are not prepared to pick up the tab.
“They’ve got the big budget,” said Council President Barb Johnson after the vote in reference to the Sports Facilities Authority. Minneapolis is contributing $150 million in sales tax revenue to the stadium.
Resolutions are typically passed by the City Council to congratulate a retiring city worker, a winning sports team or an organization that has contributed to the quality of life in Minneapolis.
“I believe this is a way to show the seriousness of the environmental issue at hand,” said Council Member Linea Palmisano. “I think resolutions like this state and represent the policy position of the Council.”
“It’s important to the experience that there aren’t dead birds around the stadium,” said Council Member Andrew Johnson.