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
“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outdated Metrodome.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.