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Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium officials propose bird study

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There are hidden costs in just about everything these days, but how about $300,000 for a bird mortality study?

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, U.S. Bank Stadium's glass facades, meant to be one of the architectural focal points of the new building, could be a danger to birds heading along the Mississippi River migratory flyway who don't see the glass and end up thumping into the building. While this isn't a new debate -- lawmakers had long-suggested a special glass or glass cover that warns birds of the coming obstruction -- the team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority proposed paying $150,000 each to "design, research, observe, monitor, analyze, and assess the potential impact of the stadium on bird mortality due to bird collisions."

The study, which is expected to be approved by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Friday, would last about three years.

"We are concerned that all potential areas of bird collisions are closely monitored," Jerry Bahls, Minneapolis' Audubon Chapter president, told the Star-Tribune, especially stating concern for the north side of the stadium. "This area will be very difficult to monitor, especially if access to it is restricted."

The stadium opens in a little more than a week, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and walk through for season-ticket holders to follow. U.S. Bank Stadium will be hosting the Super Bowl in 2018.

Kudos to the Vikings. The team's vice president Lester Bagley told the Star-Tribune that workers on the stadium haven't had any issues with birds so far but that they would want to be good "community partners" anyway. To them, this problem isn't just for the birds as they say (sorry, I'll show myself out).

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