SBD/December 21, 2011/Facilities

Ramsey County Agrees To Begin Search Process For Vikings Stadium Architect

New Vikings venue drawings hope to boost interest in the Arden Hills location
Ramsey County (Minn.) commissioners voted 4-3 yesterday to "ask engineering and architectural firms to submit their credentials, the first step in a process that could lead to hiring a firm to design" a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills, according to Frederick Melo of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. The Vikings and Ramsey County yesterday also "released two conceptual drawings of the redeveloped Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, depicting the $1.1 billion football venue in summer and winter." The drawings are intended to "boost interest in the 430-acre Arden Hills location." The four Ramsey County commissioners voting in the majority yesterday said that the "'request for qualifications' could shave time off a complicated vetting process for architectural and engineering firms, possibly keeping the stadium on track for completion in 2015." Commissioner Tony Bennett, a "key architect of the stadium proposal in Arden Hills, said a one-year delay in construction could add $30 million or more to the project." Commissioner Jim McDonough said that the vote would "send a strong signal to the state that the county is serious about moving the stadium proposal forward in Arden Hills." Commissioners Janice Rettman, Victoria Reinhardt and Toni Carter "voted against the request for qualifications, arguing that the Vikings, as a privately owned corporation, should issue it themselves or ask the state to issue it for them" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/21). Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley "hailed the action Tuesday before a group of Twin Cities business leaders and reiterated the team's view that the Arden Hills site is 'ideal'" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/21).
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