ST. PAUL, Minn. - Having exhausted other options, activists are hoping to enlist Governor Mark Dayton in the battle to have special bird-safe glass used in the construction of the new downtown Vikings stadium.
On Tuesday morning members of Audubon Minnesota, The National Eagle Center and other supporters delivered a petition with a claimed 73,000 signatures to Dayton's office, asking Dayton to intervene and bring about a positive resolution in their standoff with the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA).
The group had been working with the team and the MSFA in an effort to utilize a special glazed glass that birds migrating along the Mississippi Corridor will see better.
That glass, however, comes with an additional cost. Estimates state that using the fritted glass, available through Viracon of Owatonna, would add $1 million to a stadium price tag that is already nearing $1 billion dollars. After a series of meetings talks broke down, with the team announcing in late July that they would not foot the bill for the glass, instead opting for special lighting and other methods to make the glass-heavy stadium walls more visible to birds.
Dayton was not present when bird-safe glass supporters gathered outside his office, but a representative for the governor did come out and accept the signatures.