Vikings stadium construction bids are due Monday

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2013 - 6:15 PM

Local firm among those seeking $975M contract.

hide

Architect HKS Inc. designed these preliminary schematics of a new Vikings stadium.

In the bitter chill of a Minnesota January, the Vikings stadium project is about to heat up.

Within days, the team and public authority overseeing construction of the nearly billion-dollar downtown Minneapolis development will make perhaps their most important decision -- picking the company that will build the team's new NFL home on the current Metrodome site.

That hire, more than any other, will largely determine whether the 65,000-seat multipurpose stadium goes up on time, is built within its $975 million overall budget, and features a retractable roof or wall that opens to the sun, the stars and the city's downtown skyline.

"It's a huge responsibility," said John Loyd, who has worked alongside construction managers and architects while serving as an owner's representative on stadium and arena projects in more than a half dozen cities. "They are the builder. They plan the project from the start to finish and, generally, are responsible for just about everything."

So far, several large, nationally known firms have expressed interest in the job, which could pay between 2 and 4 percent of the $682 million building cost. Formal bids are due Monday, with a final decision expected by early February.

Among the companies expected to bid are Hunt Construction, which has built 12 NFL stadiums, including two -- in Indianapolis and Glendale, Ariz., -- with retractable roofs, and Skanska AB, general contractor for the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for the New York Giants and New York Jets.

Mortenson Construction, a Twin Cities firm that has dominated the local stadium scene, also is in the mix. Mortenson was general contractor for Target Field, home of the Twins, and TCF Bank Stadium, home of the University of Minnesota football team. It also built Xcel Energy Center for the NHL's Wild and Target Center for the NBA's Timberwolves.

"The good news is, you've got experienced stadium builders that are candidates," Loyd said. "You do not want a firm that has not done a stadium before to come in and learn how to do it with a project that has a tight budget and a tight schedule."

Traffic cop

Jack Hill, project executive for the new 49ers NFL stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., compares the construction manager's role to that of a traffic cop.

"The scheduling piece of this is unbelievably complex and literally involves thousands of activities," Hill said, adding that a detailed summary of the work schedule will allow the Vikings and the authority to "actually track how a job will build up and how many workers will be on site at almost any given time."

Early on, the builder will establish a project safety program, line up subcontractors and submit a guaranteed maximum construction price. If there are cost overruns, "all the risk lies with the construction manager," said Ken Johnson, an executive vice president with Hunt. "The risk of everything comes down to one entity, and you better pick one who can deliver."

Aside from price, the team and authority will rank the bids based on a firm's experience with sports venues that cost more than $300 million to build, its familiarity with erecting retractable roofs or walls, and its commitment to hiring local subcontractors and women- and minority-owned businesses.

"It'll be a fair and open process," said Lester Bagley, a Vikings vice president.

With $498 million in public financing pledged to construction, the team and authority have vowed to hire as many local workers as possible. "Hiring Minnesota firms is what this project is about," said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the stadium authority.

Some observers say that could favor Mortenson because of its track record on Target Field and other local sports venues and its experience with local subcontractors. The company also worked with HKS Inc., the stadium's architect, in 2009 on future development plans for the Metrodome site.

"Local general contractors have existing relationships that add value," said Bruce D'Agostino, president of the Construction Management Association of America. "And it's a competitive advantage for local guys when they are doing the bidding. They know who are the best subs to use and how to get the best price from them."

But Loyd said out-of-state firms, such as Hunt, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., often pair with smaller, local companies to even the playing field.

Hunt was construction manager for Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium, which has a mechanized retractable roof and a moveable window wall that has long appealed to the Vikings.

"Every project is unique and requires a lot of cooperation and flexibility," Loyd said. "These companies that are bidding have built all around the country. So it's not new to them to move into a new location.

"It really boils down to the people and the attitude the people bring to the project and the collaboration they forge."

Getting to work

The Vikings hope to break ground on the stadium by October and unveil it by the start of the 2016 NFL season. That timeline -- less than three years from the first scoop of dirt to the first kickoff -- is ambitious, particularly for a project that could be complicated by a retractable roof or wall.

Loyd said the new Major League baseball stadium in Miami, featuring a retractable roof and six large outfield panels that open, was built in 33 months. But crews weren't slowed by blizzards or sub-zero temperatures, conditions that can be expected in Minneapolis.

One of the contractor's first decisions will be determining where on the 33-acre site the stadium will sit and how construction will be staged. Since the building will overlap the Metrodome site, the existing stadium must be razed. The timing of demolition will determine whether the Vikings play one season or two at TCF Bank.

Kelm-Helgen said last week that "it's looking more and more likely" the Dome will be torn down shortly after the 2013 NFL season, meaning the Vikings would play at TCF in 2014 and 2015.

The builder also must weigh in soon on the roof.

The financing legislation approved last year calls for a fixed roof. The Vikings, however, prefer a retractable top or a side wall that opens, but only if one or both can be built within the budget, Kelm-Helgen said.

With the first schematic design of the stadium to be unveiled in March, a decision must come soon.

"The dominoes are sort of lining up here," Bagley said. "Once those basic decisions are made -- and the retractable feature is a big one -- it will set in motion a number of decisions."

In coming months, every detail, from welding and plumbing to the installation of seats, signs and locker rooms, will be priced and scrutinized by the new construction managers.

"There really is not anything they don't touch," Loyd said. "Their job when finished is to deliver a fully functional building."

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto 1 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 2 Top 9th Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 6 Bottom 6th Inning
Atlanta 2
Boston 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Baltimore 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago WSox 9 Top 6th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 2 Top 5th Inning
Minnesota 1
Detroit 1 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 2
Seattle 1 Top 5th Inning
Houston 1
Los Angeles 4 Bottom 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 1
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 20 4th Qtr 10:06
Buffalo 10
Dallas 27 4th Qtr 6:13
St. Louis 24
Washington 27 3rd Qtr 2:04
Philadelphia 27
Houston 10 4th Qtr 9:45
NY Giants 20
Minnesota 9 4th Qtr 9:39
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 0 4th Qtr 9:12
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 17 4th Qtr 8:10
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 4th Qtr 9:00
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 30 4th Qtr 12:13
Jacksonville 3
Oakland 9 4th Qtr 7:57
New England 13
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 3rd Prd 12:13
Carolina 2
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 1st Half 25:00
Toronto FC 0
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 10:33
Montreal 25
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close