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Stadium builders begin process for environmental review

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Stadium concept
The Minnesota Vikings released this concept of a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis, April, 2, 2012. This concept depicts the downtown skyline and events surrounding Vikings game days.
Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

The environmental review process is underway for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Planners are studying the potential effects of the project on downtown Minneapolis. Among other things, they are studying traffic during and after construction, air and water quality and the effects of the stadium lights. The report will be due next summer.

The agency is taking public input on the building's environmental impact through October.

Roland Froyen lives near the stadium site and attended a public information session Tuesday evening. He said his main concern is storm water runoff into the Mississippi River.

"There's going to be more development along the river's edge, and I'm interested if their using pervious materials so that there can be absorbtion of water before it goes into the river," Froyen said.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has said it will try to ensure the new stadium achieves LEED green building certification.

Preliminary stadium drawings are expected early next year, and planners hope to break ground by next fall. The new stadium will sit on the location of the Metrodome, but will occupy a larger piece of land.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority project manager Steve Maki does not expect many surprises once workers begin digging. 

"I think the only thing we'll find — in the parking lot area where we'll start construction — that there'll probably be some large rocks, subsurface," Maki said. "They found that with the original construction of the building too."

In 1980, workers had to move a 125-ton granite rock to make way for the Metrodome.