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New Vikings stadium designs put off until April

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The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority had some bad news for eager Vikings stadium watchers today. Schematic designs for the new stadium won't be coming out this month, as expected.

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MSFA photo

MSFA chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said that bringing in Mortenson Construction -- the builder selected last month -- is taking a little longer than they'd thought. "I just want to make clear that they now are working carefully with our architects to try to start pricing and put together all the elements that go into being ready for our schematic design," Kelm-Helgen said. "The schedule's changing a little bit, as you might expect with a new firm coming on board, but our schematic design will not be coming out in March. We'll probably be looking for something more in the April time frame."

She wouldn't offer an exact date, but stadium officials said they don't think that the delay will impact the ground breaking planned for this fall.

But there was also some hint that the backhoes might be rolling toward the Metrodome sooner than October.

Xcel Energy has a substation across the street, and a downtown feeder line that runs through the stadium property. It looks like that may have to get out of the way this summer. Here's how staff described the situation to the MSFA this morning.

Xcel Energy has a high voltage feeder that extends across the north side of the main east parking lot subsurface. The feeder needs to be relocated prior to the upcoming football season to allow for initial construction activities in October. Xcel Energy has estimated the cost of this work to be approximately $1M.

And even before the first shovel goes in the ground for the new stadium, we might have some hint of what willl be for dinner in the new place. Executive director Ted Mondale said that the food and beverage concession contract will be up for bid in the coming weeks. The marketing, operations and back of house contracts are all coming up, too. "By the end of April, all of those bids should be on the street. Or close to that."