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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.

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.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Spadafora Spadafora on 09/19/2008 - 11:35 am.

    HKS?? Amazing… I thought HOK would be designing it.

  2. Submitted by Jon Miners on 09/19/2008 - 05:14 pm.

    I would hope this is nothing more than someone’s pipe dream. In retrospect, with the economy the way it is, the two stadiums taxpayers are building now look like an unconscionable waste of money. It’s too late to change those decisions now, but the fact that we have made this mistake twice, should give us sufficient cause not to make it a third time.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/22/2008 - 09:44 am.

    retrospect shmetrospect, stadium opponents made that argument for years. The public agreed, it took a massive effort of coordinated corruption to push public financing through. First the met council creates a plan to by-pass state law in secret negotiations with the team. Then a legislator outside Henn County introduces the bill so those actually in the county can vote against it knowing they don’t have enough votes to stop it. Then a governor who’s so allergic to taxes he’s willing throw 30+ thousand Minnesotan’s of health care, can’t wait to sign a sales tax increase to pay for the stadium. There’s no need for retrospect here. The economics of stadiums and corruption behind their public financing is well documented.

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