Vikings stadium could be as much as $50 million over budget

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

At this point $50 million is change-in-the-couch-cushions money. Stribber Rochelle Olson says, “The panel in charge of overseeing construction of the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium has been in tense closed-door negotiations about what could be a $50 million dispute over change orders and cost adjustments, the outgoing treasurer of the board said Wednesday. ‘I don’t think we should be hesitant to say, ‘We have a problem’ and air it out’, said Duane Benson, a Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) board member, who is leaving Aug. 1. His ‘worst-case’ estimate puts the problem between $35 million and $50 million, but he acknowledged it could be less or more.”

At KMSP-TV Mike Durkin says, “The Republican Party of Minnesota has renewed its demand for a state investigation into Planned Parenthood after a pro-life group released a second, secretly-shot video to bolster allegations that the organization illegally sells aborted fetus organs. … ‘As far as I’m concerned, there’s no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private, nonprofit organization that has stated they don’t engage in those practices here in Minnesota,’ Gov. Dayton said.” But if the GOP wants to pay for its own, private investigation, why get in their way?

And while we’re talking investigations, Al wants Apple checked out. MPR’s Tom Scheck says, “ … Sen. Al Franken wants two federal agencies to investigate whether Apple’s new music streaming service is violating anti-trust laws. In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Federal Trade Commission Chair Edith Ramirez, Franken warned that Apple’s new music service may be harming consumers by limiting competition and driving up prices. … Apple launched its streaming service last month to compete with Pandora and Spotify. But consumer rights groups, including Consumer Watchdog, have have complained that Apple’s size and influence gives it an unfair advantage over rival music services … .”

Also from KMSP, via Rachel Chazin: “Want to restore your faith in humanity? A family of ducks made it safely across a Minnesota freeway on Wednesday after more than 10 vehicles swerved or completely stopped to avoid hitting them.  It happened on Interstate 35W at Highway 10 in Mounds View … .”

On the topic of roads, the highway closure thing is officially out of control, even with the PiPress saying, “The Minnesota Department of Transportation has adjusted the Saturday closure time for Minnesota 5 between St. Paul and Fort Snelling. The highway is now scheduled to close for 11 hours — from 2 a.m. to 1 p.m. — between Davern Street and Minnesota 55. On Tuesday, MnDOT said the road would close for 18 hours.”

Because as you already know, here via Frederick Melo in the PiPress, “Five miles of westbound Interstate 94 through St. Paul will close from Friday night until Monday morning. The July 24 to July 27 interstate closure will allow Minnesota Department of Transportation crews to pour the north side of the Minnesota 51/Snelling Avenue bridge deck over I-94. MnDOT has been resurfacing Snelling and making improvements to the bridge, including replacing the driving surface and railing. Drivers will need to watch for detours when all westbound I-94 ramps between Interstate 35E and Minnesota 280 close at 10 p.m. Friday. They will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.”

Hmm, what will the usual suspects find to complain about with this idea? In the Strib, Beatrice Dupuy says, “A massive $100 million redevelopment proposal is expected to transform Fort Snelling’s historic military buildings into 190 apartments for low-income families in the area near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials announced the landmark proposal Wednesday, saying it will overhaul and preserve the Fort Snelling Upper Post.” Do the new residents get to complain about airplane noise?

The U of M is #48 … in the world! In City Pages Michael Rietmulder reports, “The U’s 48th place finish isn’t as shocking as a Big Ten football title would be, since the Gophers have slotted in the mid- to late-40s each of the past three years. Compared to its conference mates, the U ranked in the middle of the pack between No. 47 Penn State and more-than-jocks Ohio State and Rutgers, which close out the top 50. The University of Michigan rated 19th, followed by Northwestern  at No. 22 and curd-eating Wisconsin at No. 25.”

Not so fast. The AP says, “A federal judge has denied an attempt by the state to get a quick appeal of his ruling that Minnesota’s program for civilly committed sex offenders is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ruled Wednesday that court rules don’t allow for an appeal at this stage of the case. While Frank declared the program unconstitutional last month, he has scheduled more proceedings starting next month to determine how to fix it.”

News flash: The second home in the lake country crowd is an upscale demo. Chelsey Perkins of the Forum News Service says, “Researchers have found that second homeowners in the region tended to be older, well-educated and wealthy with intentions of moving into their seasonal homes permanently within the next decade. Most respondents reported feeling strongly attached to their seasonal homes, and a slimmer majority said they were strongly attached to the closest community to those homes as well. ‘Given that 56 percent of respondents intend to move permanently to their second home, 46,000 permanent households could migrate to the study area, primarily over the next 10 years, if that high percentage of second homeowners sticks with their plans,’ said the study.”

We want our monster back. Says Paul Walsh in the Strib, “Minne had a rough summer at the lake. The Loch Ness monster-like sculpture, a herald of summertime in the Minneapolis lakes, found the waters rough at Lake Calhoun, its home this season. The 13-foot-tall sculpture was prematurely pulled from the lake Wednesday, worse for wear after enduring too many people climbing on its back and up its long neck. Several photos posted Wednesday on Minne’s Twitter account, @LakeCreature, showed people clambering all over the fiberglass sculpture.” Or maybe we just need tougher monsters?

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Rod Loper on 07/23/2015 - 07:34 am.


    Walker’s iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” gets similar erotic attention over the years.

  2. Submitted by richard owens on 07/23/2015 - 08:28 am.

    Come, on Governor

    “…. ‘As far as I’m concerned, there’s no basis for an investigation at taxpayer expense into a private, nonprofit organization that has stated they don’t engage in those practices here in Minnesota,’ Gov. Dayton said.” But if the GOP wants to pay for its own, private investigation, why get in their way?….”

    Aren’t you being a little hard on the Republicans Governor?

    You know they don’t pay for anything themselves. I think Emmer had to pay counties for all the recount ballots designed to keep Al Franken unseated!

    With an election coming up and Tony Sutton’s untouched debt of people and businesses they stiffed, the MN GOP needs the taxpayers to do these in-depth investigations to destroy women’s rights. The new Republican debt is to win elections so they can cut government some more.

    If they had the money for investigations, they wouldn’t need to participate in State government at all. They need taxpayers badly, until Grover releases them from their pledges.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/23/2015 - 08:45 am.


    What I thought was curiously unclear about the Vikings stuff was that the reporter didn’t really tell us whether there was a possibility that the taxpayers would be on the hook for the overages. If we aren’t, I am not sure why it’s my problem. If we are, we need to look at the situation more closely. For one thing, we need to stop spending money on the stadium until the situation becomes clearer. It would have been nice, for example, to know about this before, rather than after we started putting on the roof.

  4. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/23/2015 - 10:41 am.

    Heroic MSFA leadership ??

    From the Strib story:

    ‘Kelm-Helgen said closed-door discussions are necessary for “public monies to be protected” and “if these issues were discussed in public this may negatively impact the ability of the MSFA to resolve the issues in a satisfactory manner.”‘

    Once again, we see it proposed that it is necessary that the taxpayers remain in the dark – FOR OUR OWN GOOD !!

    In her latest outlandish chicanery, Kelm-Helgen presents herself as the heroic defender of the public’s interests, whereas she has actually virtually represented and defended the interests of the Vikings, not the public.

    Maybe the following kind of thinking is why Kelm-Helgen called Benson “untrustworthy”:

    “What is unusual, Benson said, is the lack of a single person leading negotiations on behalf of the taxpayers’ interests.”

    No kidding !! He might have said “the lack of ANYONE” pursuing the taxpayers’ interests.

  5. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/23/2015 - 12:37 pm.

    Taxpayer interest

    Like most Minnesotans, I will never attend a single game in the new Viking Stadium, so any amenities it may or may not possess are irrelevant to me. Since for me, the V Stadium is nothing more than a rather large tv studio, I think slashing 50 million dollars worth of bells and whistles would be a pretty easy task. And in terms of what fans who actually attend the games, in general want, the people’s stadium the governor talks about, I am sure the vast majority of them would be content with comfortable seats, a few hot dog stands, ample bathrooms, and most importantly, a winning team. If you took a poll, I have no doubt at all most fans would tell you they would rather money were invested in a decent quarterback, than a roof, or even very large glass doors.

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