New Minnesota Vikings stadium, a Q&A

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 11, 2013 - 7:52 AM
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Winning architect HKS Inc. designed these preliminary schematics of a new Vikings stadium as part of its winning bid. Stadium officials stress a final design will probably look much different. ORG XMIT: MIN1209281553491022 ORG XMIT: MIN1304011357493922

1. What will be built?
The stadium financing legislation approved by Minnesota legislators and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton in May 2012 calls for a 65,000-seat stadium with the capability of expanding to 72,000 seats for special events such as the Super Bowl.

The stadium will have a fixed roof with an option for a retractable roof or window. It also will include 150 executive suites and 7,000 premium club seats, as well as restaurants and a team Hall of Fame.

A draft environmental impact statement made public in April suggests the stadium will be taller than the Metrodome by nearly 100 feet and nearly double the size.

2.  How much will the stadium cost?
The construction cost is $975 million. The Vikings are responsible for paying $477 million, with the remainder to be split between the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis.

The team’s share will come from the sale of personal seat licenses, stadium naming rights, an NFL loan and team equity.

The state will contribute $348 million, largely from revenues generated by the sale of electronic pull tabs, bingo and sports tip boards.

The city has pledged $150 million from a series of sales taxes that include a citywide sales tax, downtown restaurant and liquor taxes and a hotel tax.

3.  When will construction begin?
Groundbreaking is scheduled for October 2013. Crews will begin digging on property east of the Metrodome while the Vikings play their final season in the stadium.

4.  When will the stadium open?
John Wood, senior vice president of Mortenson Construction, the stadium builder, says the new venue should open by July 1, 2016.

5.  What happens to the Metrodome?
Wood said the Metrodome would probably be razed in January or February 2014, depending on the length of the Vikings season and whether the team advances far into the playoffs.

The Dome could be demolished one of two ways – either by blowing it up with explosives, or by taking it apart piece by piece. Given the proximity of other buildings in the area, Wood said it is most likely the stadium will be taken apart bit by bit. But a final decision has yet to be made.

6. Where will the Vikings play after the Metrodome is torn down?
The Vikings have negotiated a lease with the University of Minnesota to playat least two years at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers football team. The terms call for the Vikings to play at TCF for the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons. The team also has an option to play there for two additional years if the new stadium is not ready.

7.  What will the new stadium look like?
HKS Inc., an architectural and engineering firm from Dallas that was hired in September to draw up plans for the stadium, will unveil its schematic design May 13. Whether it shows a retractable roof or retractable wall or window is not yet known.

The Vikings want retractable features, but those decisions will be made by the team and the stadium authority in consultation with HKS and Mortenson Construction, the stadium builder. The Vikings favor a retractable feature, but only if it fits within the $975 million budget.

Draft documents, however, offer some hints: it will be nearly twice as large as the Metrodome and 100 feet taller at its highest point. It also will have a sloped roof and could feature an exterior façade made up of a combination of Kasota limestone, metal panels and curtain walls that appear transparent or translucent when lit. It also may include sliding or retractable walls or windows on the east and west ends. The west end, which faces downtown, is expected to serve as the stadium’s main entrance.

8.  What will the stadium be called?
Naming rights have yet to be decided.

9.  Who oversees the project?
The building and operation of the stadium is the responsibility of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, a five-member public body appointed in June 2012 by Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. The authority serves as the public’s watchdog on the project and works with the Vikings on all of the major hires and decisions, but is ultimately responsible for any project delays or cost overruns.

10.  Does the city of Minneapolis have a voice on the development?
The city appointed a 24-member Stadium Implementation Committee in 2012 to weigh in on the planning and design of the stadium and make recommendations for development goals on the blocks and in the neighborhoods surrounding the site.

11. Besides the Vikings, who else will use the stadium?
The stadium is expected to be used much like the current Metrodome, playing host to major events such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament as well as college, high school and amateur baseball and soccer games. The building also would continue to host truck and tractor pulls and motocross events. The Vikings also have exclusive rights to bring in a Major League Soccer team within the first five years after the stadium opens.

 

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