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Two finalists in the running to build Vikings stadium

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW
  • Star Tribune
  • February 8, 2013 - 2:16 AM

The local company that built the Twins' Target Field is one of two finalists still in the running to oversee construction of the nearly billion-dollar home for the Minnesota Vikings.

Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis, which built venues for the Twins, Wild, Timberwolves and University of Minnesota football team, survived the first cut this week, along with Hunt Construction, of Scottsdale, Ariz., builder of a dozen NFL stadiums. Hunt is teaming with another Minneapolis construction firm, Kraus-Anderson, in bidding for the work.

A third firm that submitted an initial bid -- Skanska AB, a Swedish-based construction company that has built several NFL stadiums, including the new home shared by the New York Giants and New York Jets -- is no longer being considered for the job, said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. The authority is working with the Vikings to oversee development of the $975 million, downtown Minneapolis project.

The team and authority had been expected to name a builder for the 65,000-seat stadium at Friday's authority meeting, but Kelm-Helgen said Thursday that more time is needed to decide the issue.

"We just aren't quite there yet," she said. "We need to get a little more information. It's a big decision. And it's more important to do it right rather than quickly."

Kelm-Helgen said the authority will probably hold a special meeting next week to announce the hire.

"We've got two great candidates and either one could do the job and deliver the project that we need," said Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president for stadium development. "It's a tough call because we have two great options."

The builder will be responsible for establishing the budget for what can be designed and creating a timeline and schedule for the work, which will take place on and around the Metrodome site. It also will provide a guaranteed maximum price for stadium construction.

Groundbreaking for the project is expected to take place in October. The Vikings hope to begin playing in the stadium by the 2016 NFL season.

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

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