Budget Forces Adjustments on Vikings Project

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(from Sports Business Journal, April 28, 2013) Not only is the Minnesota Vikings facing public financing issues, but they are also facing a fixed budget of $690 million to build a 65,454 seat facility. In mid-February Mortenson, the Twin Cities contractor, estimated the Vikings estimate for construction $100 million dollars more than the fixed budget. Now, Mortenson and their minority partner, Thor Construction, have made changes to the pricing and are in acceptable numbers.  The Vikings’ Vice President of public affairs and stadium development, Lester Bagley, said there is no reason to be alarmed because the design remains a moving target.

They are now evaluating various designs for the stadium. They should reveal the final design in the next few weeks. The goal is to develop a facility that fills a similar role as the Vikings Metrodome has. They want to have a building that meets the expectations of a NFL stadium, but the senior vice president at Mortenson says he will acknowledge that it will be a challenge to meet both Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority needs. With the design calling for a fixed roof with a retractable feature, it will be a challenge to keep construction under budget. This calls for a very creative design to make it work.

The Vikings have a much smaller budget compared to the last three NFL stadium projects. This includes the 49ers $1.2 billion project, the Cowboys $1.2 billion project, and the New Jerseys $1.13 billion dollar project. It is hard to make a fair comparison to these venues, because the 49ers have to build in the cost of a roof that holds heavy snowfall. The Vikings expect to reach a guaranteed maximum price with Mortenson late this year. The total project costs $975 million,  which includes infrastructure and relocation costs.