Vikings Add $25M To Stadium Construction Budget, Pushing Total Over $1B
The Vikings on Friday added $25M to the construction budget for their new downtown Minneapolis stadium because "higher-than-expected project bids" forced the team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to "consider scrapping the design," according to Doug Belden of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Vikings co-Owner Mark Wilf in a statement said that the team "agreed to raise their contribution" by up to $41.4M to "hang on to stadium features they consider important for fans." Technically, $975M is "still the project's cost," and the public contribution of $348M from the state and $150M from Minneapolis "remains the same." What has changed is that on top of their $477M million portion, the Vikings are "putting up a total" of $26.4M in "contingency money." They had "previously put up" $13.1M. The working budget in effect "now tops" $1B. In addition, the team "has agreed to eat" $15M in lost revenue from playing two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium and is "shifting that money into the construction fund." That $15M "was included" in the total budget of $975M. MSFA officials on Friday "approved a guaranteed maximum price" for the project of $762.9M. The Vikings "have arranged" a $250M loan through lead lenders U.S. Bank and Goldman Sachs, $100M of which "is backed by revenue" from the sale of PSLs. Friday's move "clears the way for site work" to begin "in earnest next week." But MSFA officials "backed off a firm completion date of July 1, 2016," and their "new target" is two weeks later (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 11/22). In Minneapolis, Janet Moore noted the Vikings' total contribution "could reach more than" $518M. The team said that raising the budget was "the only way to guarantee the stadium didn't lose distinctive features such as the giant louvered doors and critical technological elements, including giant scoreboards, ribbon boards, Wi-Fi access and HDTVs spread throughout the building" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/23).
WHY BUY LOCAL? The AP's Brian Bakst reported Minnesota state lawmakers have "made clear they want northern Minnesota's Iron Range to be a major player" in providing the steel that will "make up the stadium skeleton and hold up the translucent roof." But Mortenson Construction Senior VP John Wood told the MSFA that some high-grade steel "will be imported from Europe, particularly the long beams that will hold the roof up." He said that company officials were "placing an order with a Luxembourg manufacturer that is a global provider of the extra-strength steel." Former state Rep. Tom Rukavina is "annoyed that the building requires an overseas shipment." Rukavina: "That, to me, is sinful is what it is. Looking outside the country is disturbing to me." But Bakst noted the steel structure will "have a Minnesota component," as one subcontractor is Minneapolis-based LeJeune Steel Co., which will "place the steel order, cut the pieces down to size and prepare any connections needed for installation" (AP, 11/23).