New Vikings stadium ground breaking scheduled for Dec. 3

Rendering of plaza in front of main entrance (HKS Architects)

The official ground breaking for the new Vikings stadium will happen  two weeks from today, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said Tuesday.

The date was set just after noon today, after the MSFA reached an agreement with builder Mortenson Construction on a guaranteed maximum price for the new building.

The price has never really been in question: The state said it would spend no more than $348 million, and the city of Minneapolis would pay no more than $150 million. The final price was set at $975 million, although the Vikings have offered at least $13 million more for the project.

The guaranteed maximum price agreement caps how much Mortenson can charge to build the new stadium.

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"They then, essentially come in and assume the risks for any cost overruns. So that's important from the authority's standpoint," Kelm-Helgen said.

There has been some last-minute wheeling and dealing to make the building fit the budget, but the state and fans won't get any big surprises, she added.

"All the major features that were included in the building before are still there," Kelm-Helgen said. "You won't see any major differences in the architecture or the functioning of the building.

The MSFA is set to approve the price agreement on Friday, which will also clear the way for the Vikings to close on their part of the financing. Kelm-Helgen said that will mean the state will likely sell stadium bonds in December or January.