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Continued: Inquiry into Wilf's business dealings adds pressure to tight stadium timeline

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 18, 2013 - 10:46 AM

“Those conversations will make it clear that this lawsuit, regardless of the outcome, will have no impact on team’s ability and owner’s ability to finance this project,” he said.

Until the background checks are completed, however, the team and authority can’t finalize stadium lease and development agreements, which will dictate everything from who controls construction to how much season-ticket holders will pay in license fees to reserve the best seats. The authority planned to vote on those agreements at its Aug. 23 meeting, but those negotiations have been pushed back. Both must be finalized and approved before the state sells taxpayer-backed bonds to pay its share of the project.

The city of Minneapolis also has yet to sign off on the stadium’s schematic design. A City Council vote on that question is scheduled for Aug. 30.

“We have built in some cushion over time and there’s not much cushion left,” Bagley said. “So we’ve got to buckle down and get this done.

“So far, so good,” he added, speaking of the project design and construction timeline. “But there are benchmarks that we have to meet.”

One of the first comes in November, when Mortenson orders the steel for the massive truss that will support the stadium roof.

Wood said the order is “critical to the schedule” because the truss must be “produced, shipped and fabricated” by August 2014 to coincide with the start of steel erection on the project.

Kelm-Helgen said the authority and Mortenson have had many discussions about the initial steel order, and that everything is on schedule.

But, Wood said, “If we are unable for whatever reason to order that steel in early November, then it starts to potentially impact the completion date.”

 

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

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