$975M enough for new stadium? Some amenities on chopping block

9:01 PM, Oct 10, 2013   |    comments
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HKS Vikings stadium design

MINNEAPOLIS -- In the ever changing game that comes with building a state of the art sports stadium, the pieces and the prices are always moving.  The agreed upon price is $975 million dollars, but early bids from construction crews suggest that it might not be enough.

"They're actually coming back a little bit higher than we were hoping for. I think it reflects the up-tick in the construction market," Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen told KARE 11, explaining that those bid numbers appear to be about $30 million dollars higher than anticipated.

She was quick to explain that there are millions in contingency funds built into this project; a rainy day account for unexpected issues. But the hope is that some of that money can be used for what the Vikings and the Authority call "Design Add Alternates," which are things that could be built in if contingency money was available at certain points in the project.

A million dollars for a pair of escalators is part of both the team and authority's so-called wish lists. The MSFA's list added up to $5.4 million dollars while the Vikings' came in at $46.2 million dollars. The team is hoping for additional money for a $12.4 million dollar parking ramp and a $3.5 million dollar skyway from the premium lot to the stadium, among other things.

Vikings Stadium VP Lester Bagley told KARE 11 there were just some items on the chopping block that the team could not live without, so the Vikes just chipped in an additional $13 million dollars. The upgrades the money paid for include $4 million dollars for WiFi, an upgraded video board for $3 million dollars, and $1.8 million dollars for a ribbon/banner electronic board that surrounds the interior bowl of the stadium.

"Those things were fundamental; must-haves for the fan experience and in order to get them, to guarantee they'll be there, we had to put in an additional 13 million on top of the 477," he said.

Like any stadium project, this is a fluid situation with many moving parts. The team, the authority, and the developer hope to arrive at the final "Guaranteed Maximum Price" by November. Once it's set, crews will break ground.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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