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Will a solution to stadium's bird hazards take flight? It'd be a feather in 3M's cap

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There's nothing to announce yet, but a couple of state legislators are atwitter about a possible breakthrough in the standoff between bird lovers and the builders of Minnesota's new football stadium.

Two Minneapolis DFLers tell Finance & Commerce the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is in talks with 3M about a product that could help keep birds from flying into the 200,000 square feet of glass the new home of the Vikings will feature.

State Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Phyllis Kahn tell the publication they're optimistic the product, which would be applied to the glass, can save birds.

State and city funds are paying nearly half the cost of the $1 billion downtown stadium under construction near the Mississippi River. The Audubon Society and other groups have raised alarms about the hazard the building's glass walls will pose to the millions of migrating birds that use the Mississippi flyway.

The Vikings and the Sports Facilities Authority have declined to change the stadium's design to include the fritted glass favored by advocates for birds.

3M makes a variety of window films. A page on the company's website touts their effectiveness at keeping out ultraviolet rays, reducing glare, and thwarting vandalism, but does not mention birds.

After a September protest organized by the Audubon Society, the Sports Facilities Authority issued a statement mentioning its ongoing dialogue with the group and promising: "We will continue to evaluate innovations that may reduce bird collisions."

A spokeswoman for the authority told Finance & Commerce "there's nothing we can announce" right now and a 3M representative did not confirm any talks about the stadium. Rep. Kahn tells F&C she's meeting with Audubon members later this week.

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