The Vikings have pledged an additional $41.4 million toward the construction of its new stadium after construction bids came in higher than anticipated.
Out of the additional funds pledged, $26.4 million will come from a line of credit for construction contingencies in order to maintain the stadium's "iconic" design and other features the team deems essential. The Vikings will also absorb $15 million related to playing at TCF Stadium in 2014 and 2015, a cost that was originally included in the construction budget.
Mortensen Construction's guaranteed maximum price for building the stadium rose from $737 million to $763 million because of an improving economic conditions in the construction industry.
"The good news is that construction is up, but the bad news, for us anyway, is that construction is up," said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
The total price of the stadium is still officially $975 million, but it could rise well above $1 billion if MSFA, Vikings and Mortensen contingency funds get used.
The state of Minnesota will be issuing $498 million in bonds in January. Originally those bonds were going to be issued earlier, but it was pushed back due to the a month-long delay the MSFA spent performing a "due-dilligence" probe on Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. Until the bonds are issued the Vikings will be paying all costs related to the construction of the stadium, according to Kelm-Helgen.
Mortensen will officially begin construction on Nov. 25, putting up fencing on the northeast side of the Metrodome. The demolition of the Dome is expected to take three months, and crews will work in a counter-clockwise fashion around the construction site. A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held at 10 a.m. on Dec. 3 on the east side of the Metrodome. It will be free and open to the public.
"The important thing is that we will be putting the shovel into the ground, putting people to work, and starting to build this stadium," said Lester Bagley, vice-president of stadium affairs for the Vikings.
If everything goes according to plan the new stadium is expected to open July 15, 2016.