A new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings is one step closer to reality. The team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) are choosing an architect for the planned $975 million project. A decision is scheduled by October 5th.
Set to be built under a Project Labor Agreement (PLA), the stadium will bring jobs to the region and ensure the team stays in Minnesota thus preserving the local economy (without demolishing the service industry). According to Finance & Commerce, five architects have been identified to receive the $50 million contract.
Five teams – Los Angeles-based AECOM, Philadelphia-based Ewing Cole, Dallas-based HKS, Kansas City-based HNTB, and Kansas City-based Populous — are vying for the up to $50 million contract and a selection will be announced no later than the MSFA’s Oct. 5 meeting.
A decision could come earlier if a special meeting is deemed necessary. MSFA board chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen explained the process:
Essentially, “each group gets one vote, so it’s going to be done in a collaborative way, because we both have to agree,” she said.
Earlier this month, the MSFA officially approved a resolution to build the stadium under a PLA, which is music to the ears of Building Trades members in the region. The PLA will not be finalized until an architect is selected, however:
“The only thing we have done is in concept said that we will have a project labor agreement, but what that actually looks like has not been defined,” Kelm-Helgen said.
The MSFA also selected two legal councils for the stadium: Minneapolis law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson. Each will have specific responsibilities in the project:
Dorsey will provide counsel in the areas of financing, real estate, construction strategy, labor, intellectual property and other matters, the MSFA said. Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson was included based on its strong construction practice, noted Ted Mondale, executive director of the MSFA.
Kelm-Helgen also said at Friday’s meeting that the board is gathering information about ways to meet or exceed “workforce goals” for the project, including the hiring of women and minority workers and inclusion of disadvantaged businesses.
“A big part of the workforce goals will have to be done in conjunction with and in cooperation with the construction company that eventually comes on board,” she added.