The Minnesota Vikings have broken ground on their new stadium. Team owners and officials were joined by hundreds of local politicians, business leaders and purple-clad fans Tuesday morning to commemorate the start of construction on the billion-dollar project.
Politicians, Vikings executives and possibly a few notable former players will be on hand at the groundbreaking ceremony for the team’s new, $1 billion stadium. The Tuesday morning program inside the soon-to-be-demolished Metrodome is open to the public, but there are only a few hundred seats available.
For more than three decades, the weekend after Thanksgiving has been special for high school football players. This weekend will be the last time the Prep Bowl will be held at the Metrodome. The venue is coming down to make way for a new Vikings stadium. For Noah Rockholl, the quarterback on last year’s football team, Friday is a special day. “You can drive through the streets of Underwood today and I guarantee you won’t see a single person or a car in the town,” Rockholl said. “The whole the whole town’s here.”
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Former state House member Tom Rukavina says he’s annoyed that the new Vikings stadium requires ore from overseas. Mortenson Construction executive John Wood told the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority that some high-grade steel will be imported from Europe. He says officials are ordering from a Luxembourg manufacturer that’s a global provider of the extra-strength steel. Wood says the 7,000 tons of steel that make up the perimeter can be drawn domestically, but even that will probably have only small traces of Minnesota in it.
Backers of the $1 billion Vikings stadium regularly tout the project as an economic driver that will boost the state’s construction industry and rely heavily on Minnesota-derived materials. Construction planners showed last week that those goals are easier stated than achieved.
The Minnesota Vikings say they’ll raise their contribution to a new stadium to more than $500 million to make sure the project has everything they want. Vice President Lester Bagley says the extra money is the only way to preserve the design and features in the new stadium, which will now cost more than $1 billion.
The groundbreaking for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium will be on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority confirmed the date Tuesday. It’s the official start of construction on the nearly $1 billion football stadium that will be built at the current Metrodome site.
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The public authority in charge of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is tying up loose ends before construction can get underway next month. The head of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said Friday that the project is “beginning to move at lightning speed” as the mid-November groundbreaking. Next week a key pricing report is due from the lead contractor that could reflect cost pressures on the $975 million stadium. The Vikings must certify their $477 million share for the project by early November. Soon after, the state will sell bonds toward the $477 million public contribution.
A Minnesota legislative panel formed to keep tabs on the Vikings stadium deal is meeting to go over a recently signed lease and the development agreement. The Legislative Commission on Minnesota Sports Facilities lacks power to alter the agreements.
Eight banks are teaming to underwrite hundreds of millions of dollars in Minnesota bonds to finance construction of the new Vikings stadium. Management and Budget has notified the banks they were selected from a group of 22 that submitted proposals.
Much has been publicized about the new Vikings stadium, but very little in regards to the Target Center. When lawmakers approved a new Vikings stadium last year, part of the deal allowed the City of Minneapolis to pay for Target Center renovations. But while stadium plans move forward, Target Center remains quiet. Last year, when lawmakers approved a $975 million Vikings stadium, they also approved $100 million in Target Center renovations.
Only five home games remain on the Vikings schedule this year. And unless the Vikes go to the playoff, that’s how much time is left for the Metrodome. The Dome will be torn down to make way for the Vikings’ new home. And it’s a very tight timeline between now and 2016, when the Vikes move into their new stadium. Michele Kelm-Helgen, the head of the state commission overseeing new stadium construction, says people shouldn’t expect a dramatic, dusty knockdown in Feb. of 2014.
The government panel that’s managing construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium made several mistakes related to managing finances in its first few months of operation. That’s the finding of a report released Thursday by Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor.