Bidding for Vikings stadium expected to be competitive

Vikings stadium rendering
View of the interior of the Vikings stadium renderings from HKS Inc. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has signed a contract with Dallas-based firm for design services for the new stadium.
Courtesy of HKS

The line forms now for contenders to build the new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is officially issuing the request for proposals for a construction management firm, expected to build the $1 billion project that will replace the Metrodome. The authority hopes to have bids back by Jan. 8. They'll issue a shortlist of contenders and name a finalist by Jan. 25.

Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said that they will be asking for a fixed-price bid, which will ask the builder to guarantee a cost. She expected construction to cost around $690 million, the lion's share of the $975 million overall budget for the project.

"The $975 million includes money for obviously the architects, it includes a lot of soft costs, in terms of legal fees, consulting fees," Kelm-Helgen said. "It includes the parking structure, some of the plaza space, things that are actually outside the actual construction of the stadium."

Stadium officials said the actual cost of the job, a so-called guaranteed maximum price, is scheduled to be negotiated with the construction management firm after they're picked in January, and after they've had the chance to see what the architects propose.

The authority also would like 25 percent of the materials used in the stadium to be Minnesota products — although that isn't a firm number. The enabling legislation set that goal, but it doesn't represent a legal mandate. It will also include a requirement for minority and women to be included in the project workforce, which is set in the stadium law, signed by Gov. Mark Dayton in May.

The MSFA's facilities director, Steve Maki, said he expects the relative lack of other stadiums in the works elsewhere will be good for the project in Minnesota.

"There are a handful of firms, and when I say firms, there will be perhaps singular, single firms, or joint venture entities that will provide proposals on this," Maki told the authority. "We expect, at least from initial discussions, that we will see firms from across the country be interested in this project. It is the single-largest sports related project coming out at this time, and it has no real competition in terms of other projects, in terms of timing."

What that means, he said, is there will likely be some legitimate competition among firms vying to build the new stadium in Minneapolis.

The initial plan is for the construction firm, after being named to the project, will spend a month working on pricing out preliminary designs sketched out by Dallas-based HKS, the architectural firm retained this fall to design the stadium. Kelm-Helgen said a "100 percent schematic" design should be done by the beginning of March. Construction itself should kick off in October.

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