Take action! Send a postcard to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority urging the agency to change the glass. Download one of the .pdf versions to print yourself. We’ll also have postcards available at the demonstration.
Follow up by contacting all the MSFA members and Governor Dayton:
We had great turnout on Saturday, Sept 27, 2014 at the protest we held across the street from the Vikings Stadium construction site. We had banners with the slogans “Never too late to get it right—Change the Glass Now!” and “Save the birds—Save the earth.” Attendees brought a variety of their own very clever signs as well.
We had a great group of speakers who presented their unique perspective on how the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority’s (MSFA) decision to not use bird-safe glass will have a harmful impact on wildlife and sends a negative message to the community at large. Steve Greenfield made some great introductory comments and restated the protest was not “anti-Vikings” but rather “pro-birds.” Madeleine Linck, Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis Board Member spoke about the impacts of window collisions on birds. Wildlife Rehabilitationist/Conservationist, Roger Tory Peterson awardee, and science writer/editor at Cornell Lab of Ornithology Laura Erickson shared her perspective on the stadium’s impact on bird conservation. Brad Bourn, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner, discussed connectivity between the Mississippi River and Minneapolis parks and the value of protecting wildlife/birds in natural urban habitats. Minneapolis City Council Members Cam Gordon and Linea Palmisano shared their pro-conservation views in relation to the City Council’s role in this process and position on the stadiu. Dr. Jim Gambone, Executive Producer of Points Of View Inc., discussed MSFA’s Environmental Impact Statement and noncompliance with Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification and the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918.
A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped get the word out about the event and made all the arrangements for all in attendance. Here are some links to press coverage of the event:
For Minnesota Public Radio’s piece “Birders threaten lawsuit over new Vikings stadium glass,” click here
For KARE 11 News’ piece “Hundreds gather to protest Vikings stadium glass,” click here
To read Wired’s September 4, 2014 column “Have the Vikings built a Thunderdome for Migratory Birds?” click here.
Our work is not yet done. We need everyone to continue to call the MSFA, MN Governor Dayton, MN Attorney General Swanson, and all of your elected officials to express our shared concern over this decision, which is in direct opposition to the values of conservation. Please continue to make these calls, write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, write blog posts, and keep spreading the word that we demand bird safe glass on the “People’s Stadium!”
MINNESOTA SPORTS FACILITY AUTHORITY CHAIR MICHELLE KELM-HELGEN (612) 335-3319
MN GOVERNOR MARK DAYTON (651) 222 3766
MN ATTORNEY GENERAL LORI SWANSON (651) 296-3353
Flyer to protest decision not to use Bird Safe glass in new Vikings stadium
Join us on Saturday, September 27th at 1:00 pm to protest the decision not to use bird safe glass in the new Vikings stadium. We’ll meet next to the Downtown East Light Rail Station platform (corner of S 4th St & Chicago Av S). Let’s tell the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings that we want to focus on touchdown runs, not on birds hitting the glass. We will meet rain or shine. Come show your support for the birds and the Vikings!
Questions about the event? Maybe you’ll find the answers here. If you don’t, email Vikings4Birds@gmail.com.
Why are we protesting? What is wrong with the current choice of glass?
The Minnesota Vikings stadium currently under construction is a $1.024 billion dollar project. Almost half of its funding comes from public money. A prominent feature of the building’s design is 200,000 square feet of glass, which is equivalent to over three football fields. Birds are unable to perceive glass that is too transparent or reflective as a solid object. When they try to fly through the glass, the collision often leads to their death.
The new stadium will be in close proximity to the Mississippi River. Over 50% of North American migratory birds use the Mississippi River Flyway during migration. This means the design, which introduces a significant hazard to all birds, will be especially detrimental to migratory birds. Many of these migratory species are currently threatened or endangered. While MSFA has agreed to turn down the lights when the stadium is not in use, they plan to use the stadium year-round and often throughout the night. Furthermore, although most migrants travel by night, birds are active and at risk of window collisions due to reflections during the day.
Read more about why we ar protesting
Learn more about bird – window collisions by going to these links:
Audubon Minnesota Project BirdSafe
American Bird Conservancy: Birds and Collisions
“When Birds and Glass Collide” Audubon Magazine, December 2008
“Clear and Present Danger” Audubon Magazine, March 2004
Can I get to the protest by bus or light rail? How about carpooling?
Getting there by bus or light rail:
We encourage you to take public transit or carpool to the protest. All light rail trains stop at the Downtown East Station on their way into & out of downtown Minneapolis. Several bus routes stop within a block or two of the protest site including routes #3, #7, #14, #16 and #22. Click here to go to the Metro Transit site and put the stadium’s address, 424 Chicago Avenue Minneapolis MN 55415, into the trip planner.
Getting there by carpool:
Want to carpool? Click here to go to eRideShare.com to find out about getting or giving rides. The group password for the protest is birdsafe.
If I’m driving, where do I park?
Because the protest is on a Saturday, there should be plenty of parking available on-street at meters and in pay lots. We know of no free parking near the protest site. Here’s a suggestion: Park for free at a Metro Blue Line Park & Ride lot and catch a Blue Line train to the protest. Click here for a list of Metro Blue Line Park & Ride lots and more information.
Should I bring a protest sign?
Yes! Be creative but please remember to make your sign pro-bird, not anti-Vikings. Feel free to wear your Vikings gear.
I’m still mad about there even being a new stadium. Can I come protest the stadium itself?
We understand the issue of a new stadium is still controversial but please don’t use this event to protest the stadium itself. For better or worse, the stadium is being built. Now we want to focus on helping the MSFA and the Vikings make the stadium as bird-friendly as it can be.
I can’t attend the protest. How else can I help?
Send a postcard to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority by downloading & printing: ToMSFA_Postcard
Another version of the postcard to the MSFA without photos:toMSFA_Postcardwithoutphotos
There are many ways to help including: Tell your friends, family and co-workers about the protest and encourage them to attend. Forward the protest flyer or download & print copies to distribute at locations like coops and coffee shops – wherever people gather! Remember to get permission to post. Also, continue to write, call and email the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings to let them know they have made the wrong decision and it’s not too late to do the right thing. Send letters to the editors of the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press and your local newspapers. Contact your elected officials to let them know how unhappy you are that your tax dollars are being used to fund a stadium that will kill birds.
Learn how you can make your home safer for birds by clicking here.
We’ll be adding more questions & answers soon. See you at the protest!