Vikings stadium builder nets St. Paul soccer stadium gig

Minnesota United FC fans cheered.
Minnesota United FC fans cheered the pro soccer stadium deal when it was announced in October.
Curtis Gilbert | MPR News file

The company building the new Vikings stadium will have another job just up the road next year. Mortenson Construction has been selected to build the new Minnesota United pro soccer stadium in St. Paul.

The team announced the decision about its planned $120 million, 20,000 seat stadium today. It says Kansas City-based Populous will design the facility.

Minnesota United FC team owner Bill McGuire
Team owner Bill McGuire
Curtis Gilbert | MPR News file

Mortenson teamed with the same architectural firm on Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium and the Xcel Energy Center. They're also working together now on the new Atlanta Braves stadium and the Colorado State University Stadium, Minnesota United said. Mortenson also recently finished a major remodel for the arena used by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"That experience — coupled with their ongoing focus on innovation, technology and quality — will benefit our team and fans, the sport of soccer, the neighborhoods around the new facility and our entire state," said Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire in a statement released by the team.

McGuire has said his team will build the stadium with private funds — hence United's option to pick the builder and architect. The stadium is expected to be turned over to city ownership after it is completed, possibly in 2018, as part of a deal to avert what McGuire has said would be unworkable for a soccer team.

MN United currently plays in the North American Soccer League, but was awarded a new Major League Soccer franchise by that New York-based league earlier this year. Commissioner Don Garber hasn't said when the league expects the St. Paul team to start matches against other MLS teams.

The new St. Paul stadium is planned for the intersection of Snelling Avenue and Interstate 94, where a former MTC Transit bus barn once stood. The city of St. Paul is hoping it will also anchor a redevelopment of the privately-held Midway Shopping Center along the Green Line.

Mortenson is considered one of the premiere sports facilities builders in the country, and is based in Golden Valley. The state and the Vikings selected the company to build what is now U.S. Bank Stadium in 2013.

And while the process has gone mostly smoothly, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the company are in mediation, and possibly headed for arbitration, over a relatively small cost overrun dispute at the new Vikings stadium. That project is expected to wrap up in July.

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