After spending nearly $700 million in tax dollars to build the Vikings’ new U.S. Bank Stadium, officials have now announced the Vikings and the taxpayers will spend an additional $300,000 on a study to determine whether or not the stadium is responsible for too many bird fatalities.
Before the first game has even been played in the facility, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has published a “memorandum of understanding” with the National Audubon Society to fund the multi-year study of bird deaths, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The two entities have announced their desire “to design a collaborative, scientific program to design, research, observe, monitor, analyze, and assess the potential impact of the stadium on bird mortality due to bird collisions.”
The announcement didn’t placate state Democrats who want more and faster action on birds, reports say.
Bird activist and State Senator Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said that the new study was just a “stalling tactic” to allow officials to put off action on saving birds lives. Senator Dibble wants a special film placed over the glass that is designed to alert birds that they are about to fly into a sheet of glass.
Questions on the danger to birds has hung over the construction of the sleek, glass-fronted arena since the design was announced and as a result laws in Minnesota were written to force buildings constructed with public money to install “bird safe glass” to prevent birds from flying into glass-sheathed buildings and killing themselves.
But these additional costs for U.S. Bank stadium just add to the construction price tag of a stadium already designated as one of the “worst deals” in the country for taxpayers. According to Market Watch’s Jason Notte, the taxpayers in Minneapolis got the worst sports deal ever fashioned after being stuck with a $678 million bill for building the facility.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.