Bids are in on Vikings stadium project

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 31, 2012 - 6:35 AM

The architect behind new homes for the Twins, Wild and Gophers is among those in the running for the Metrodome replacement.

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A conceptual drawing of a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis on a game day.

Photo: ., Minnesota Vikings

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Five national architectural and engineering firms, including the company that designed new homes for the Minnesota Twins, Wild and University of Minnesota football team, have submitted renderings and plans for a new $975 million Vikings stadium.

Prominent among the firms submitting bids to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority by Thursday's deadline is Kansas City-based Populous, formerly known as HOK Sport. Populous designed the Twins' Target Field, which opened to rave reviews in 2010, along with TCF Bank Stadium, home of the football Gophers, and Xcel Energy Center, home to the Wild professional hockey team.

The firm also was the architect on more than a dozen Major League Baseball stadium projects, including Baltimore's Camden Yards and Pittsburgh's PNC Parks.

The other bidders on the Vikings' project are:

• AECOM, a Los Angeles-based firm involved in the design of CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

• Ewing Cole, a Philadelphia-based company that designed the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Jets and Giants.

• HKS Inc., of Dallas, architect for the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium, which opened in 2009 for the NFL Dallas Cowboys. HKS also designed the $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium, which opened in 2008 for NFL Indianapolis Colts.

• HNTB Corp., of Kansas City, designer of the $1.2 billion Santa Clara, Calif., stadium under construction for the San Francisco 49ers.

"We have plenty of good, qualified bidders," said Ted Mondale, the authority's executive director. "We've got the advantage in timing of a slow market -- not many stadiums are being built right now. So we have the cream of the crop."

Mondale said the authority and the Vikings, which are working together to oversee the construction of the multipurpose downtown Minneapolis stadium, will review the proposals and narrow the list in the coming days.

Finalists will appear at a public forum at the Metrodome at 5 p.m. Sept. 6 to show off their resumés. Stadium renderings and plans won't be unveiled to the public, however, until an architect is picked, Mondale said. That decision is expected to be announced at the authority's Sept. 14 meeting.

The authority and the Vikings hope to break ground on the stadium next summer and open it in time for the 2016 NFL season. The Vikings recently submitted a bid to the NFL to host the 2018 Super Bowl at the site.

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

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