The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings say they hope within the next three weeks to pick an architect to build a new NFL stadium.
The job is expected to earn the designer's firm as much as $50 million. Five big architectural firms are vying to win the contract, but it's too soon to pick from among them, said Michele Kelm-Helgen, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman.
"We are having a very collaborative process with the Vikings, along with the authority, to try and do the due diligence on those five firms," Kelm-Helgen said. "The good news is that all five of the firms were all really qualified, had a great deal of experience, and a lot of really thoughtful ideas as to how they might approach this project. So, as you can imagine, its a very difficult decision."
Kelm-Helgen hopes the team and the authority can reach consensus on an architect by the next authority meeting, Oct. 5. Both the Vikings management and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority have to agree on the choice.
The Minnesota Sports Facility Authority had considered naming an architectural firm as early as this morning. But Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said they weren't ready to choose one from among the five contenders.
"The firm selected has to have experience designing a multipurpose facility. They have to understand and represent NFL program requirements," Bagley said. "We're looking for ideas on technology, make sure its a sustainable building, the workforce goals that were discussed earlier."
Groundbreaking on the stadium is expected next year.