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Continued: Vikings find $975M isn't enough for everything in new stadium

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 10, 2013 - 6:38 AM

The team has identified more than $46 million worth of items it would like to restore in whole or in part. Bagley said some of the “must haves” covered by the team’s $13.1 million advance include a Wi-Fi system ($4 million), a larger video board on the stadium’s west end ($3 million) and a second “ribbon” scoreboard that wraps around the stadium bowl and flashes scores, statistics and advertisements ($1.8 million).

“We felt it was important for the fan experience that those items be guaranteed,” Bagley said.

The team also wants to install five, 95-foot pivoting glass doors at the main entrance, as originally designed. The current design calls for shorter doors that slope from a high of 78 feet on the north end to 54 feet on the south for a savings of $3.2 million.

Bagley said the team prefers the original design to enhance “the look and feel of the building.”

Other big-ticket items cut that the team hopes to restore include a skyway across 6th St. to a parking ramp at the 1010 Building ($3.5 million) and a parking garage on property north of the stadium owned by entities associated with the Wilf family, the team’s owners.

Kelm-Helgen said the authority and team considered building a 400-car ramp on the site, but decided to add one more level of parking — enough space for 240 cars — to an adjacent ramp to save $12.4 million.

The stadium authority, meanwhile, has identified 11 items totaling $5.4 million that it would restore, including several features the Vikings also want, including two escalators ($1.1 million), a freight elevator ($500,000), and building out two auxiliary locker rooms ($700,000).

Setting priorities

Kelm-Helgen said that anything the authority and team add back to to the project would “have to come from these lists first,” unless the two sides agree that “something else is a higher priority.”

Dave Semerad, head of Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, which represents a range of commercial builders, said the higher bids on the stadium project stem partly from increases in some material costs.

A labor shortage in some crafts also has pressured the budget. During the recession, many construction workers left Minnesota for jobs in other states or left the field entirely, leaving those left behind in a position to work more overtime or demand more pay, Semerad said.

“It’s a business,” said Harry Melander, president of the Minnesota State Building & Construction Trades Council. “And like any other business, when there is a demand there might be a price increase.”

 

Richard Meryhew • 612-673-4425

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