Reporter Rochelle Olson updates you on the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Posts about Super Bowl

Moving on up: Vikings stadium gets more escalators, TVs

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: June 20, 2014 - 10:56 AM

Six more escalators will be added to the entryway of the new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium that is replacing the dearly departed Metrodome.

That will bring the total to 18 escalators in the stadium's main entry point. All told the stadium, on-schedule to open for the 2016 Minnesota Vikings season, will have 33 escalators.

Ease of vertical circulation is critical to stadiums, Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said. Time and again, other teams around the league delivered that message. Notably, Bagley said Indianapolis wished it had installed more escalators.

MSFA executive director Ted Mondale said, "We're going to have a building that we can move food, people, emergency equipment around in a quick manner."

Another addition: 1,180 more televisions, bringing the total to 2,000.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority approved changes to the stadium budget for design consulting issues related to the new items. The Vikings say they're paying the increased cost of $1.3 million. That increases the total project budget to $977 million.

The increased cost covers only design - not the materials, the escalators and televisions themselves. The designers will decide where best to locate the TVs so fans are never miss a Purple play. No decision yet on whether there will be TVs in the restrooms.

The MSFA also discussed potential changes to the stadium related to the 2018 Super Bowl. The discussion is about potentially adding more suites, but no decisions have been made. Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said the Vikings will cover the costs.

Changes will also be required for an NCAA basketball Final Four. Kelm-Helgen said four locker rooms rather than two will be needed. The MSFA would pay for those changes.The state is bidding for a 2019 or 2020 Final Four - college basketball's denouement of March Madness.

In other action, M.A. Mortenson Co. provided an update on construction, previewing the arrival of the star attraction of the project: the biggest, tallest crane.

The crane starts rolling onto the site in pieces later this month. It takes 65 truckloads to haul. Assembly is required. The crane will be ready to pick up its first piece of steel on July 31. The biggest piece to be hoisted: 600,000 pounds.

Mortenson senior vice president John Wood reported that 400 people are now working on the site daily. In total, 100,000 cubic yards of concrete will be poured. So far, they've poured 17 percent of that, he said.

Wood said that through the end of May, $89 million worth of work has gone into the site in six months even though much of it has been in the hole and not visible to the public. Typically, that amount of work takes two years, he said.

Super Bowl Bid Committee issues statement on NFL doc

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: June 9, 2014 - 1:50 PM

Super Bowl Bid Committee on Monday released a statement regarding the NFL bid specifications document obtained by the Star Tribune and published in Sunday's paper.

The statement is more of the same: The Super Bowl will benefit the Twin Cities and we're not saying anymore. It's a dry read. For more amusement go to #superbowldemands on Twitter. The tone's a bit more irreverant.

For example:

Must have been the 'top quality bowling venues' that locked them in: ttp:// via @StarTribune #superbowldemands

When Roger Goodell enters a room, all mayors/girl scouts/beer vendors must kiss his ring and say "Thank you, Godfather". #superbowldemands

Mike Tolzman @mtolzy

At no cost to the NFL, personal huddle wardrobe attendants. #superbowldemands

<The statement below was released by comms people from both the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings on behalf of the "Super Bowl Bid Committee," which was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

For Immediate Release                                                                                              June 9, 2014






While the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee did not agree to all of the NFL’s Super Bowl bid specifications, the competitive bid remains private. It is important to note, however, that through the Host Committee’s fundraising efforts, the private sector will cover any additional costs for the Super Bowl. Neither the city nor the state will be responsible for additional public costs such as increased security, public infrastructure or police.

The bottom line is that by hosting the world’s marquee sporting event, we have guaranteed that 100,000+ visitors will descend on this community, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and significant tax revenues to the state. Furthermore, the game will allow us to showcase this region to more than 100 million people around the world and will help secure other major events moving forward.

Super Bowl Bid Committee Co-chairs:

Doug Baker, Chairman and CEO, Ecolab

Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Former Chair and CEO, Carlson Companies

Richard Davis, Chairman/President/CEO, U.S. Bancorp

Super Bowl Bid Steering Committee Members:

Lester Bagley, Vice President of Public Affairs/Stadium Development, Minnesota Vikings

Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair, MSFA

Michael Langley, CEO, Greater MSP

Rob Moor, CEO, Minnesota Timberwolves; Chair, Meet Minneapolis Board of Directors

Melvin Tennant, President and CEO, Meet Minneapolis

Stay tuned: Decision on 2018 Super Bowl after lunch

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: May 20, 2014 - 10:56 AM

The wait is winding down. The NFL voters will hear three dazzling 15-minute presentations from the finalists for the 2018 Super Bowl: Minneapolis, New Orleans and Indianapolis - in that order.

Then the owners will vote live on the NFL Network by secret ballot. The expectation is the vote will take several ballots. To win on the first ballot, a city must get a super-majority, 24, of the 32 votes of the NFL owners. No city has ever won on the first ballot. There is no time certain, but the action starts after lunch and should be done by 4 p.m.

Minneapolis will feature Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn (who got her start on the bunny slopes at Buck Hill), Minnesota Vikings' star Adrian Peterson and former coach Bud Grant.

The NFL allows only five members of the Super Bowl bid committees in the room for the presentation and only two can speak. Speaking for Minnesota: U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis and Marilyn Carlson Nelson,board chair of Carlson Cos.

Davis arrived Monday just in time for the practice run in the owners' meeting room at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead neighborhood. The room is essentially a convention room with high-back leather chairs for the owners.

Davis said they ran through the presentation three times and planned to make some tweaks last night. He said he and Carlson Nelson work well together and wanted to fine-tune their queueing of 4-5 video clips.

Carlson Nelson is a veteran. She was on the Twin Cities team that landed the 1992 Super Bowl on the third try. Many of the NFL owners are the sons of the owners who voted for the 1992 game, she said Monday.

Let me tell you a bit about these two. I've seen many big shots and stars in nearly a quarter century of reporting. I'm not easily charmed. But these two are extraordinary public speakers.

When Davis speaks, he takes control of a room like few I've seen. When he talks, you want to listen. He's succinct and direct and assured without being arrogant or condescending. I'm not one to gush, but I would love to be in the room for the presentation just to see him.

I asked him Monday if he was superstitious or nervous. He said, no, not at all. The secret to his success then? Davis said he only speaks on topics he knows, understands and believes in. So he's speaking from the heart and head.

Carlson Nelson has a similar touch. She's a career executive who's given speeches literally around the world for decades. She has an effortless warmth, wit and confidence. She works in the hospitality industry, after all.

Talented speakers and a dazzling presentation may not matter. The owners, like the rest of us, love to go to New Orleans. The vote may be more about ownership and connections-- whether their colleagues want to give the Wilfs the Super Bowl for the new $1 billion stadium.

Already they're lining up to host the game for 2019. Atlanta media reports that Falcons' owner Arthur Blank wants the game in 2019 in the new $1 billion stadium here. The groundbreaking ceremony was lastnight and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attended.

Goodell plans a news conference after the vote Tuesday afternoon. He will get questions about the Super Bowl, for sure, but also Indy Colts owner Jim Irsay.

Irsay showed up Monday in his first public appearance since his arrest for DWI in Indiana and subsequent trip to rehab. Pills of unknown provenance were found in his vehicle, but he has not been charged with a crime. Those who know Irsay say he appeared visibly shaken Monday. He's being asked if he should apologize for his actions.

Stay tuned. If you've got any questions for Goodell, send me an email and I'll take a

Follow me @rochelleolson

The Vikings have landed in Atlanta to make Super Bowl pitch

Posted by: Updated: May 19, 2014 - 12:51 PM

Minnesota Vikings and execs from the other 31 NFL teams are making their way to Atlanta this morning.

The owners have their Spring meeting at the Ritz Carlton in the Buckhead part of town. The action doesn't start until Monday afternoon, but expect the Minnesota Vikings' contingent to be lobbying the fellow owners privately for the 2018 Super Bowl.

Team VP Lester Bagley says he and others, including owners Mark and Zygi Wilf, have specific lobbying assignments among the other team owners. No word on who gets Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys - probably the biggest household name among the owners. (Seriously, try to name some others. Rooney, Irsay, Mara - but what do they look like?)

Bagley says Zygi Wilf is friendly with Jax Jaguars owner Shahid (Shad) Khan, a Lahore, Pakistan native, now U.S. citizen  billionaire (estimated $3.8B, owns Illinois-headquarted Flex-n-Gate auto parts) who also owns England's Fulham FC Football (soccer) League champion. He came to the U.S. at age 16, staying in a $2 room at a YMCA his first night before working his way to an engineering degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

But I digress. US Bancorp's Richard Davis and Carlson Cos. Marilyn Carlson Nelson will make the 15-minute multimedia pitch to the NFL owners Tuesday to try to get the 2018 Super Bowl to the new $1 billion stadium. Only two people are allowed to speak - but the owners will hear other voices via the presentation.

The NFL owners should be appreciative of the Twin Cities' bid because of the stadium which was "built to host a Super Bowl," Bagley has said.

Bagley is familiar with the owners himself because he has given them regular stadium updates during their meetings for the past several years. The publicly subsidized project took years to win legislative approval and remains controversial to opponents.

The Vikings are to play their first season in the new facility, nearly double the size of the Metrodome, in 2016. Recent tradition has been to give the new Super Bowl to new stadiums in the same time frame - after two regular seasons are played at the facility. First Dallas and now San Francisco (Santa Clara).

The Minnesota crew gets a one-hour prep session some time between 5 and 8 p.m. tonight.

In other news, this reporter saw college hoops legend Bobby Knight and his wife at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday at 4 a.m. Knight and his wife were heading toward security. The retired Indiana basketball coach wore rumpled khakis and a cozy sweatshirt. He carried his own well-worn duffle bags (no logos in sight.) Curious to see if the NFL owners schlep their own bags.

NFL owners follow a pretty loose schedule for their meetings. The discussions are not open to the public, but the Super Bowl vote will be broadcast live on the NFL Network on Tuesday. There is no time certain for the presentations.

In somewhat related Atlanta action, the Falcons break ground on a new $1 billion ceremony at 8 p.m. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will attend - in a sign that stadiums are important to the league.

Super Bowl notice goes out to media

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: May 12, 2014 - 6:04 PM

Eight members of the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee will make the trip to Atlanta next week for the NFL owners' vote on the location of the 2018 game.

Minneapolis, New Orleans and Indianapolis are the three finalists making presentations to the 32 owners at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead on Tuesday, May 19. The vote is taking place during the NFL Spring League Meetings.

Those listed as attending the event include Mark and Zygi Wilf, the team's owners, as well as Lester Bagley, the team's vice president for public affairs.

Also from the committee on the trip: Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies, Richard Davis, president of U.S. Bank, Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Michael Langley, chief executive officer of Greater MSP and Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, the city's convention bureau.

Notably absent is Ecolab's Doug Baker. He is a committee chairman, but apparently had a prior commitment and won't make the trip.

Word is the NFL allows five people in the room for the sales pitch, but only two people are allowed to speak. No one has said who will speak for Minnesota.

Members of the Minnesota panel will speak to the media Monday night after their one-hour rehearsal session that is set to occur between 5-8 p.m. eastern time. The NFL hasn't yet told Minneapolis when it will have the room.

The vote on the city occurs Tuesday afternoon. Reporters won't be allowed in the room for the vote, but will be able to watch - with the rest of the world - via live feed on the NFL Network.

Committee members say they're going to meet with the media after the vote - "regardless of vote outcome."

The Ritz-Carlton is at 3434 Peachtree Road NE in Atlanta's swank Buckhead area.


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