New Vikings stadium now officially costs more than $1 billion

The new stadium is beginning to rise out of the east end of downtown Minneapolis.
The new stadium is beginning to rise out of the east end of downtown Minneapolis.

Today, Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority officials announced that the price tag for the new Vikings stadium has officially surpassed $1 billion.

It had been budgeted to cost $975 million. But some items, such as steel, cost more than anticipated, driving the cost up to $1.024 billion.

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But don't fret, taxpayers -- the Vikings are picking up the tab for the $46.1 million shortfall. The public contribution hasn't budged from the original $498 million.

In a statement, MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen thanks Zygi and Mark Wilf for opening up their big fat wallets.

"The Vikings have made a significant contribution to the stadium budget which allows us to maintain the original design to ensure the building is the most iconic, world-class stadium in the country and perhaps the world," she says. "We appreciate the team stepping up to make this significant contribution was instrumental in helping to solve our budget gap."

Items that were on the chopping block if more money wasn't scrounged up included operable doors, escalators, acoustical treatments, and freight elevators, the MSFA says. (Though something tells us they would've still found a way to make the stadium's doors operable without the extra $46 million...)

From Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson:

In a statement, Mark Wilf says, "It is critical that the original stadium design unveiled in 2013 is delivered to the public when the new stadium opens in 2016."

"Our goal is to provide the best game day experience possible for our fans and for everyone in Minnesota who uses the stadium," he continues. "We strongly believed eliminating significant items that contribute to that fan experience was not an option."

The Vikings didn't earmark any money for the bird-safe glass requested by the Minnesota Audubon Society, however.

Though the Vikings and MSFA recently pleaded poverty regarding the bird-safe glass, Anderson now says the problem is aesthetic, not financial:

Meanwhile, construction is moving quickly -- contractors say the stadium's bird-unsafe glass will begin to be installed as early as January.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.

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