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Dome repair on schedule; stadium site cost comparisons near; Vekich a consultant

The $25 million repair of the Metrodome is ahead of schedule, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission was told today at its monthly meeting.
The Vikings’ first home pre-season game is set for the weekend of August 26-27, and commission engine

The $25 million repair of the Metrodome is ahead of schedule, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission was told today at its monthly meeting.

The Vikings’ first home pre-season game is set for the weekend of August 26-27, and commission engineering chief Steve Maki said the new roof will be ready … assuming the NFL owners’ lockout of its players has ended. 

Meanwhile, commission chairman Ted Mondale said a cost comparison of  three potential sites for a new Vikings stadium is soon to be completed. They are: Arden Hills, the Dome site, and one near the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

On the repair, according to commission finance committee chairman Paul Thatcher, a “conversation” is under way with the agency’s insurance company about whether the company will cover the total costs of the fabric being used in the repair. The commission is fixing the roof with a higher-quality fabric than was used when the Dome was built for its 1982 opening. For now, the insurance carrier, Affiliated FM, is balking a bit. But Thatcher expressed confidence that the matter would be resolved. In any event, commission coffers could handle the price difference, he said.

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In another development, Mondale said that Michael Vekich, a financial analyst and prominent Republican, has been retained by the agency to help analyze potential Vikings stadium funding plans, including the use of tax-exempt bonds. Vekich had been working periodically over the past few months for the commission on budget matters related to the Dome repairs. Vekich was the chairman of 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer’s transition team and chaired Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s 21st Century Tax Reform Commission.