Vikings Find $975M Isn't Enough for Everything in New Stadium

Even before the first chunk of earth is turned for the new Vikings’ stadium, project planners are finding out that $975 million doesn’t go nearly as far as they had hoped.
October 10, 2013
 

Even before the first chunk of earth is turned for the new Vikings’ stadium, project planners are finding out that $975 million doesn’t go nearly as far as they had hoped.

Officials for the team and public authority overseeing construction have been forced to trim their project wish list to keep the downtown Minneapolis stadium within budget.

Among the potential casualties: 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.

“We only have $975 million in the budget, and there’s only so many things you can get under that number,” said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley.

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the project developer, said 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.

As of last week, the bids had exceeded the budget by $20 million to $30 million, forcing the team and authority to do some “value engineering” and make tough choices on what they could possibly live without, she said.

“It’s all moving around,” Kelm-Helgen said, adding that the two sides are continuing to work with the stadium builder, Mortenson Construction, to price out the work before Mortenson delivers a guaranteed maximum construction price by November, in time for groundbreaking.

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