Vikings Forced To Make Cuts From Stadium Project, Citing Constraining Budget
Vikings officials and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority "have been forced to trim their project wish list" to keep the team's downtown Minneapolis stadium project within its $975M budget, according to Richard Meryhew of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The items possibly on the chopping block are "a 400-stall parking garage a block north of the stadium, a skyway linked to a ramp a block south, two large escalators and as much as 40 feet from the height of five massive, pivoting glass doors at the venue’s main entrance." MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said that "an uptick in the construction industry and pressures on an already tight construction workforce have pushed some preliminary bids on the project higher than anticipated." She added that as of last week, the bids had exceeded the budget by $20-30M, "forcing the team and authority to do some 'value engineering' and make tough choices on what they could possibly live without." The MSFA and Mortenson Construction have set aside more than $62M in "contingency funds that could be tapped to restore some of what’s been cut if the money isn’t spent to cover unforeseen construction issues." The Vikings also have agreed to advance $13.1M to "restore some features on their wish list that had been targeted for cuts." They would "recoup the investment at the end of construction if contingency funds remain." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that some of the must haves covered by the team’s advance payment include a $4M WiFi system, a $3M videoboard on the stadium’s west end and a second $1.8M ribbon scoreboard "that wraps around the stadium bowl" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10).