Vikings say $975 million not enough for new stadium

Picture these same doors as in the rendering, but... 40 feet shorter.
Picture these same doors as in the rendering, but... 40 feet shorter.

Project costs tend to run up once construction starts. But for the money pit that is the new Vikings stadium, even before November's groundbreaking, project planners are finding that $975 million isn't cutting it.

As Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley told the Star Tribune: "We only have $975 million in the budget, and there's only so many things you can get under that number."

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The Twins, remember, pitched in more of their own money when costs for Target Field jumped, investing $195 million instead of the planned-for $130 million. Not so for the Vikings.

Instead, the team is looking at axing a list of items that includes, per the Strib:

A 400-stall parking garage a block north of the stadium, a skyway linked to a ramp a block south, two large escalators and as much as 40 feet from the height of five massive, pivoting glass doors at the venue's main entrance.

The re-evaluation comes after preliminary bids last week were $20 million to $30 million over-budget.

Not to say that the Vikings will go without all their bells and whistles. The team has agreed to advance $13.1 million for wish list items like a Wi-Fi system, the Strib reports.

But don't interpret that as an increase in the Wilfs' investment. At the end of construction, the team will get paid back from a $62 million contingency fund.

Deadspin's take on the situation reiterates where things stand. "Gov. Mark Dayton has aggressively and repeatedly pitched the project as 'the People's Stadium,'" writes Barry Petchesky. "He's right--the people of Minnesota will be paying for it for a long while."

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