Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Vikings pick the home team -- Mortenson -- to build new stadium

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 15, 2013 - 11:11 PM

A hometown firm with deep ties to the local workforce and a portfolio featuring more than 100 sports and entertainment venues has been awarded the job of building the nearly billion-dollar home for the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Friday made its most important hire to date, signing Mortenson Construction of Golden Valley to coordinate the building of a downtown Minneapolis stadium that promises to transform the city skyline by the time it opens in July 2016.

Mortenson is a familiar name on the local sports construction scene, having built new homes for the Twins, Wild, Timberwolves and University of Minnesota football team.

"There's just something that is very special about working on a project in your home community," said John Wood, senior vice president for Mortenson. "There's a big responsibility and a lot of accountability that comes with that. And we take that very seriously. And we intend to complete this project so that not only the authority and the Vikings will be pleased, but also so that every Minnesotan will be pleased with our work."

Friday's hire comes eight months before project groundbreaking and as the team prepares for its final season in the Metrodome.

As the project's construction manager, Mortenson could employ as many as 7,500 workers -- most from Minnesota -- over the course of a 33-month construction period, Wood said. It will earn $12.5 million but could make as much as $15 million if it finishes the project early or meets other incentives. The company also could face "substantial penalties" -- up to $5 million per NFL game missed -- if the stadium doesn't open on time, Wood said.

With just 33 months from a planned October groundbreaking to a projected July 2016 opening, time is short. But Wood said Mortenson, which built the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in 31 months, will meet that deadline and do so within budget.

"Our intention is to earn those bonuses and avoid the penalties," he said. "We understand our responsibility."

Mortenson won the job over a team of Hunt Construction, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Kraus-Anderson, of Minneapolis. Hunt has built a dozen NFL stadiums, including several with retractable roofs or walls. One of those -- Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis -- has long been the inspiration behind the Vikings' project.

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the stadium authority, which is working with the Vikings to oversee the $975 million development on the current Dome site, said Mortenson's national reputation and experience with dozens of sports venues were major factors in the hire. It also didn't hurt that the company has drawn much praise for its work building new homes for Minnesota sports teams, particularly Target Field.

Kelm-Helgen said the firm's final pricing fee also was "incredibly competitive." Mortenson submitted the low bid, she said, knocking off about $2 million from its initial bid.

Typically, a construction manager is paid 2 to 4 percent of the stadium's construction cost. Mortenson's fee came in at 1.7 percent. "I really don't think we'd have done it anywhere else other than here in our home state," Wood said.

Said Lester Bagley, a Vikings vice president: "If you take the issue of where Mortenson is based out of the equation, they still were the strongest team and the best fit. The bonus is they are the hometown team."

Local ties

Mortenson's tie to local subcontractors also was a strong selling point. With $498 million of public money in the project, Kelm-Helgen has consistently said that the bulk of the stadium jobs should go to Minnesota workers. As part of its contract, Mortenson, which also will work with Thor Construction of Minneapolis, has committed to reserving 20 percent of construction work for women- and minority-owned businesses from Minnesota.

"Having the main contractor 'local' means they already know the community," said Barb Lau, executive director of the Association of Women Contractors in St. Paul. "Instead of bringing an out-of-town plan into this market, they are already here and have a plan and have relationships built."

Minnesota lost about 50,000 construction jobs during the recession, said Dave Semerad, head of Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, which represents a range of commercial builders. Despite some recovery in recent years, he said, the state is still about 15,000 construction jobs short of where it was in February 2006.

"This is such a significant project because this recession is so wide and so deep," Semerad said. "And this will help put people back to work."

Wood said Mortenson will establish the budget immediately for what can be designed and built and draw up a construction timeline and work schedule. It also will provide a guaranteed maximum construction price for the 65,000-seat project later this fall, after scrutinizing and pricing every detail of the development with HKS Inc., the project architect.

One of Mortenson's first challenges will be to work with HKS on pricing a retractable roof, wall or window. The stadium-financing legislation approved last year calls for a fixed roof, but the Vikings and the authority prefer a retractable one, if it can be built within budget.

Adding a fully retractable roof to a stadium already designed for a fixed roof could add $25 million to $50 million to construction costs, several experts have said. Adding a wall or window would cost less.

The company, which hasn't built a retractable-roof stadium, also will have a voice on whether the Vikings play one or two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the University of Minnesota football team. Initially, the team planned to play the 2015 season at TCF while the Dome is razed. But Kelm-Helgen has said several times that it's likely the Vikings will play two seasons -- 2014 and 2015 -- at TCF.

Bagley said Friday that the team is operating under the assumption that the 2013 NFL season will be its last at the Metrodome. If it is, the stadium would probably be razed in early 2014 to make way for the new construction, Wood said.

"It feels great to turn the corner on the project finally," Bagley said Friday. "Let's get to work."

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

  • STADIUM PROJECT

    Cost: $975 million

    Mortenson's fee: $12.5 million

    Mortenson's fee if incentives are met: $15 million

    Seasons Vikings play at TCF Bank: 2 (tentative)

    Projected construction jobs: 7,500

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close