Vikings To Play Two Seasons Outdoors While Mortenson Constructs Stadium
Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley on Friday said that the team “plans to play" at the Univ. of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium during the '14 and '15 seasons, while the team's new stadium gets built at the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis, according to Patrick Condon of the AP. Team officials and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority “convened at the dome Friday to finalize the deal" for Minneapolis-based firm Mortenson Construction to earn $12.5M to build the new stadium. That fee “could reach" $15M if the firm meets performance incentives, "but could be lowered if the construction lags.” The Vikings had “hoped to play only one season at the outdoor stadium.” Plans now call for the Metrodome “to be torn down in February 2014 and for the new stadium to be ready to open by July 1, 2016.” The '14 and '15 seasons will be the "first the Vikings play outdoors" since the end of the '81 season. In addition to the “annual payment from the team to the school, the two would split money that comes in from concessions, sponsorship and advertising -- likely about $50,000 a game.” Bagley said that Mortenson “would help the Vikings obtain cost estimates for potentially including a retractable roof, wall or window, or a combination of those.” Bagley said, ''The Vikings are very interested in a retractable feature.” He added that a decision on that “is likely within 90 days" (AP, 2/15). Mortenson Senior VP John Wood said that a retractable roof would cost an additional $25-40M and that money “would need to be found from savings elsewhere in the project” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/16). In Minneapolis, Richard Meryhew wrote with “just 33 months from a planned October groundbreaking to a projected July 2016 opening, time is short” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/16).