Vikings fans, here's your chance to experience the new $1 billion stadium experience.
The team and Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment have completed the Stadium Preview Center adjacent to the stadium’s construction site in downtown Minneapolis (now home to the hulk that was once the Metrodome). The space will be open to the public -- by appointment -- later this week.
The 7,500-square-foot Preview Center is located on the fifth floor of the 1010 Metrodome Square Building, 1010 South 7th St.
The interactive space is the largest ever built by an NFL team, according to the Vikings. It overlooks the stadium construction site and includes a "custom-filmed experiential player tunnel and Vikings locker room experience, two authentic suite build outs, a 24-seat Club seating section, 37 high-definition televisions and seven interactive kiosks," the team said in a news release.
The center also contains a 100:1 scale city-scape model and a 25:1 scale detailed architectural stadium model. Visitors will have the opportunity to see 360-degree panaromic views from 275 vantage points within the stadium.
“We believe the new stadium will provide the premier game-day experience in the NFL, and this Preview Center will help bring that into focus for Vikings fans,” said Vikings Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer Steve LaCroix, in a statement.
The Vikings are currently contacting season ticket holders to arrange appointments, followed by those who are on the team's waiting list. Non-season ticket holders can sign up for the wait list or track developments on the stadium webside. For more information, look here.
The new stadium is slated to open July 2016.
The anti-Vikings stadium gadfly is back at it.
Minneapolis resident Doug Mann, whose legal challenge over the funding of the $1 billion behemoth briefly delayed the state’s sale of $462 million in bonds last month, has filed an appeal with the Minnesota Supreme Court. He’s seeking to overturn a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling from last month.
Mann originally filed suit in Hennepin County District Court in July, claiming the Minneapolis city charter requires a referendum for the use of more than $10 million in “city resources” to build the stadium. (Minneapolis is on the hook to pay $150 million of the $1 billion in stadium construction costs.) In November, District Judge Judge Philip Bush dismissed the petition.
On Jan. 10, Mann, a former mayoral candidate in Minneapolis, his wife, Linda, and one-time city school board member David Tilsen, filed a petition with the state Supreme Court calling for the impending bond sale (raising funds for the stadium) to be suspended. But the court dismissed that measure, as well.
The bonds were sold in late January.
On Jan. 9, Mann also filed for a “writ of mandamus” -- a legal maneuver generally used when all other judicial remedies fail -- with the state Court of Appeals calling for a reversal of the lower court decision. That was dismissed by the Appeals court on Jan. 21, because, the court said, Mann could have filed an ordinary appeal. On Friday, he filed a petition for the Supreme Court to review the Appeals court’s decision.
Mann is arguing that an ordinary appeal was not adequate, partly because it may have required him to post a $10 million surety bond, an a mount he says he can’t raise. He also wants the state’s highest court to review the Appeals court decision.
Court spokesman Kyle Christopherson said the Supreme Court decides whether or not to take a case. There's no deadline for making a decision, but he said the court usually decides within 60 days of the petition's filing.
Meanwhile, construction of the stadium continues in rather dramatic fashion. On Sunday, 84 charges of dynamite were exploded to demolish the Metrodome's ring beam, a key part of the roof structure.
Demolition of the Metrodome will begin again Sunday morning, but this time, "controlled explosive charges" will bring down the structure's remaining roof structure.
Work was halted Monday after a ring beam unexpectedly fell out of sequence in the Dome's demolition, bringing the teardown to a halt. No one was injured and all debris fell within the demolition safety zone, so no passersby were at risk of injury, according to general contractor Mortenson Construction.
After consulting with structural and demolition experts this week, it was determined that the safest way to bring down the remaining portion of the ring beam is with the controlled explosives, the Minnesota Sports Facilties Authority said in a statement. The MSFA is the public body in charge of stadium construction.
The demo will occur 7:30 a.m. Sunday, with the concrete ring beam demolished in a manner similar to the way the Metrodome's roof cables were severed.
"Neighbors should be aware that there will be vibration, dust, and noise associated with the ignition of the charges and the demolition of the ring beam," the MSFA said in a statement.
There will be a number of road closures in the area to create a safety perimeter for the demo, the MSFA said. Along with 11th Av., Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth streets and Chicago Av. (Kirby Puckett Place) will be closed beginning at 5:30 a.m. and will remain closed until an "all clear" signal has been given. That should be no later than 9 a.m., the MSFA said.
The Downtown East light-rail station will be closed during this timeframe, as well. MetroTransit buses will serve as alternate transportation to shuttle passengers between stations adjacent to the Metrodome.
No public access will be permitted within 250 feet of the Metrodome.
Demolition work on the Metrodome will resume soon, but it's a little unclear at this point when exactly that might be.
We reported earlier this week that a beam on the the 32-year-old Dome plunged out of sequence in the project, causing demolition work to be halted Monday afternoon. The Dome, of course, is being demolished to make way for the new $1 billion Vikings stadium that will sit roughly on the same spot in eastern downtown.
Allen Troshinsky, director of operations for stadium general contractor Mortenson Construction, told the MInnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Wednesday that an investigation is being conducted to see what exactly happened, and what, if anything, needs to be done to make sure it doesn't occur again.
Troshinsky estimated demolition will commence in the "next several days," but he declined to be more specific.
No one was injured on Monday and all debris fell within the demolition safety zone, so no passersby were at risk of injury.
Crews for St. Paul-based subcontractor Frattalone Cos. were working to bring down a section of ring beam in the east-southeast section of the Dome about 1 p.m. when an adjacent section came down out of sequence. No equipment was damaged.
Meanwhile work continues elsewhere on the site.
A trusty staffer here at the Star Tribune, Jim Foster, snapped this photo today of the Metrodome's walls being demolished. Up until very recently demolition has included the roof (deflated in January) and the ancillary buildings and structures surrounding the bowl portion of the Dome.
For those of you who don't get downtown that often, the landscape surrounding the Dome has undergone a striking change. And work has continued despite this winter's frigid temperatures. The entire Dome is expected to be demolished by April, with the new $1 billion stadium opening July of 2016.