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Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:43cat

Minnesota Vikings Add $19.7 million to Stadium Contribution

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The new Vikings Stadium will be ready for the 2016 NFL Season The new Vikings Stadium will be ready for the 2016 NFL Season

The Minnesota Vikings announced last week that they plan to add $19.7 million to their contribution towards building a new stadium for the NFL team. Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley made the announcement at the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) meeting in Minneapolis alongside John Wood with Mortenson Construction and MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. The additional funding means the Minnesota Vikings have now contributed $526 million towards the new facility which has a total price tag of over a billion dollars. Lester Bagley announced that the extra funding was to counter the rising price of steel and ensure all of the items from the original plan were built on time. There is roughly 7,000 tons of steel in the stadium’s external shell. The steel was budgeted at $4,800 per ton but is now costing closer to $6,000 per ton.

The Minnesota Legislature and Govenor Mark Dayton originally required the team to contribute $477 towards the new stadium and the taxpayers would contribute $498 million. The taxpayer contribution, however, could not be increased if the project’s cost increased. The Vikings have not wanted to remove any of the proposed amenities from the stadium so they have been slowly increasing their contributions over the last year. “It is critical that the original stadium design unveiled in 2013 is delivered to the public when the new stadium opens in 2016. Our goal is to provide the best game day experience possible for our fans and for everyone in Minnesota who uses the stadium. We strongly believed eliminating significant items that contribute to that fan experience was not an option,” said team owner and president Mark Wilf.

The increased budget will mean an even larger scoreboard than initially expected. It will also make sure that an air curtain will be built in the stadium to keep it cool even when the doors at the west end of the stadium are open during games, and the stadium will have top notch acoustics. One item that was dropped from the original plan was a type of bird-safe glass that is textured to prevent birds from flying into the sides of the stadium. MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen says the Vikings decided not to use bird-safe glass not only because of the budget constraints, but also because the glass gives a murky view if you look into the stadium.

The new stadium will be completed in time for the 2016 NFL season. The NFL decided to award the 2018 Super Bowl to the new stadium this past May.  It will be the city’s first Super Bowl since 1992, and many believe the team’s new stadium was the deciding factor for voters. 

Sources: MPR NewsKSTP

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