Vikings, city agree on new stadium costs, plan
NOV 22, 2013 10:46a ET
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Less than two weeks from groundbreaking on a new Minnesota Vikings' stadium, the team, stadium authority and construction company agreed to the maximum construction costs with the Vikings and owners, the Wilf family, committing up to an additional $41.4 million in private contributions.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Mortenson Construction and the team agreed to a plan Friday that includes a guaranteed maximum price of $763 million for constructions costs to the new stadium.
The Wilfs and Vikings' additional commitment comes from a $13.1 million line of credit previously announced in October, with an another $13.3 million in contingency guarantees. The team will also absorb $15 million as the result of playing at the University of Minnesota's on-campus TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and 2015.
The $15 million in costs for TCF Bank Stadium use were part of the original $975 million stadium budget, with the Vikings and Wilfs previously set to contribute $477 million in addition to an annual $14.5 million. Reports say the construction bids had come in higher than expected, and the team increased their contribution to keep the planned stadium's iconic look and amenities.
"The only options were to whack the project, cut significantly back in the building, step back and redesign and try to redraw to a lower number or have the team put in more money," Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley told the Associated Press. "That's what our owners decided to do."
Keeping the look and extra amenities was an important aspect to the Wilfs as stadium construction costs rose. The team unveiled the design of the new enclosed, 65,000-seat stadium in May, which will replace the outdated Metrodome. The new facility will feature a large glass entryway with pivoting glass doors, as well as a fixed roof built partially with a transparent type of plastic that will allow natural light into the stadium.
"From day one our goal has been to build a stadium that benefits the entire state of Minnesota and provides the best game day experience possible for our fans," Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said in a statement released by the team. "This additional commitment is to ensure several of the features that are so important to all users of the stadium remain in this project."
Groundbreaking for the new stadium, which will sit on the current footprint of the Metrodome, is scheduled for Dec. 3.
Fox Sports North's Phil Ervin contributed to this story.
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