Heads up, Vikings fans: The long wait for your first peek at the purple and gold’s new digs is just about over.
Come May 13, architects plan to deliver the goods by unveiling the preliminary design for the nearly billion-dollar stadium in a 7 p.m. showing at the Guthrie Theater.
“We’ll go through all the details of the building inside and out,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing construction of the downtown Minneapolis project. Kelm-Helgen wouldn’t spill design details Saturday, saying some features are still being tweaked.
She also wouldn’t nod to whether the 65,000-seat, multipurpose stadium, to be built on the Metrodome site, will have a retractable roof, wall or window — features that the team, the authority and many fans want, but extras that might be too expensive given the construction budget.
But Kelm-Helgen said the stadium will feature “a lot of light” and fit in well with the surrounding neighborhoods and downtown.
She said the Vikings and stadium authority considered several designs before narrowing the options. The stadium financing legislation approved last year calls for the building to include 7,500 club seats, 150 suites, and space for gift shops, restaurants and an NFL team museum and Hall of Fame.
“We’re excited about where it’s headed,” said Lester Bagley, the team’s vice president for public affairs and stadium development. “It’ll have lots of glass and light and a very open feel to it. And we’re confident that it’ll land well with state leaders, Vikings fans and everybody in Minnesota.”
The authority and team had hoped to unveil the design last month. Kelm-Helgen said the timeline was pushed back to April, then May, to give architects and the construction manager more time to price stadium features and materials and help the authority and team decide what it could afford.
Groundbreaking is still expected to take place in October, even though revenues for the state’s portion of construction financing are lagging well behind projections.
The Metrodome is tentatively scheduled to be razed in early 2014, with the new stadium scheduled to open in time for the 2016 NFL season. In the meantime, Vikings home games will be at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.