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Stadium Commission delays Vikings decision

A major decision by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission on the future of a new Vikings stadium was delayed this morning until next week.

A major decision by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission on the future of a new Vikings stadium was delayed this morning until next week.

Late-night negotiations Wednesday and last-minute concerns by some commission members postponed the agency’s selection of an architect and construction manager for what’s bound to be a $1 billion retractable-roofed stadium.

Before anything gets built, the team and commission will have to persuade the Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty to fund the bulk of the project in the 2009 session.

This morning’s delay centered on two issues.

First, there’s the finalizing of a “Memo of Understanding” between the agency, which owns and operates the Metrodome, and the Vikings about how to proceed on the planning phase of the project.

The initial phase is expected to cost about $2.5 million; the commission, with a dwindling cash reserve and some annual revenues, will pick up those costs.

Second, commission staff is leaning towards recommending that HKS, the Dallas-based firm that designed the new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, be hired to design a rebuilt Dome, with Twin Cities-based Mortenson Construction as the construction manager.

Some commissioners said they needed more information on both issues. Chairman Roy Terwilliger agreed to the delay, desiring unanimity.

“We’re close,” Terwilliger said on the memo with the Vikings.

A meeting was tentatively set for Sept. 26 to revisit the deal with the Vikings and to name the architect/construction team.