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."

Gettig 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

Kansas City - LP: B. Finnegan 4 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 11
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 2 FINAL
San Jose 1
Boston 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
Montreal 3
New Jersey 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Dallas 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 7
Detroit 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Chicago 2 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Minnesota 7
Florida 1 FINAL(OT)
Arizona 2
Washington 3 3rd Prd 6:23
Calgary 1
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 40 FINAL
Colorado 37
Akron 21 FINAL
Ball State 35
Massachusetts 35 FINAL
Toledo 42
Ohio U 21 FINAL
Western Mich 42
Ga Southern 69 FINAL
Georgia State 31
Kent State 3 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 14 FINAL
Stanford 38
Fla Atlantic 16 FINAL
(23) Marshall 35
Louisiana Tech 31 FINAL
Southern Miss 20
(1) Miss State 45 FINAL
Kentucky 31
Georgia Tech 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 28
(22) West Virginia 34 FINAL
Oklahoma State 10
Texas Tech 27 FINAL
(10) TCU 82
Michigan 11 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 35
Boston College 23 FINAL
Wake Forest 17
Central Mich 20 FINAL
Buffalo 14
Vanderbilt 14 FINAL
Missouri 24
Old Dominion 51 FINAL
Western Ky 66
UNLV 20 FINAL
Utah State 34
Temple 14 FINAL
UCF 34
(15) Arizona 59 FINAL
Washington St 37
Texas-El Paso 34 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 0
Wyoming 31 FINAL
Colorado State 45
Syracuse 6 FINAL
(21) Clemson 16
Texas State 22 FINAL
ULM 18
(3) Ole Miss 7 FINAL
(24) LSU 10
(4) Alabama 34 FINAL
Tennessee 20
So Carolina 35 FINAL
(5) Auburn 42
(13) Ohio State 31 FINAL
Penn State 24
(20) USC 14 3rd Qtr 6:02
(19) Utah 10
(14) Arizona State 10 3rd Qtr
Washington 0
Nevada 0 1st Qtr 8:34
Hawaii 0
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 0 FINAL
New England 1
Portland 2 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Colorado 0 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 24 FINAL
Toronto 26
Brt Columbia 28 FINAL
Winnipeg 23

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Sunday in Tampa Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close