While the Vikings search for a new stadium and new players, something old is getting replaced. The Metrodome is getting a new roof and the replacement process is underway.
The process of replacing the Metrodome roof officially got underway Thursday with the hiring of the contractor to install the new roof.
In what wasn't entirely surprising, only one bid was received – coming from the same firm that put in the original Metrodome roof 30 years ago. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission held a bid opening Thursday. The only bid received was from Birdair Inc. of New York.
Birdair's base bad was $18.3 million for the installation of the roof with almost $700,000 in additional costs that included analysis of the roof prior to the decision being made that the entire roof would need replacing rather than just the five panels that tore away during the roof collapse in December.
While there weren't expected to be many bids given the unique nature of the project and lack of companies that perform such work, one of the primary prerequisites in the bid specifications was that the roof would be completed for football to be played on Mall of America Field by Aug. 1 – two weeks before the expected start of preseason games.
With more than two months of the Metrodome unintentionally being an open-air stadium, the process is underway of putting the roof back on – at a pretty steep cost. However, thanks to insurance, most of the cost will be covered by the stadium's policy and won't add $19 million to the state's cost for the replacement.
At the first day of the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday, Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said that one of the issues of the team after the collective bargaining impasse is resolved is getting a new contract for running back Adrian Peterson. Thanks to meeting almost every incentive from his rookie contract, Peterson is set to earn $10.72 million in 2011 and, if there is a salary cap, his cap number would be a staggering $12.76 million. His contract technically extends through 2012, but it is easily voidable by either side and is extremely unlikely to be realized after next season. While Peterson's cap number (if the salary cap returns) would be lowered by signing a contract extension, it would be made up for with what would likely be an eight-figure signing bonus and guaranteed-contract money.
The agent for Pat Williams confirmed that he will appeal the ruling earlier this month against the Williams Wall in their effort to have their four-game suspensions imposed by the league in the 2008 StarCaps incident removed, according to the Star Tribune. Kevin Williams has not officially confirmed that he will appeal the decision, which would be heard by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The high court has the ability to refuse to hear the case, which would allow the appeals court ruling to stand.
Teams at the Combine can interview up to 60 players and the Vikings are planning to use their full allotment of interviews, which are 15 minutes each. The interview portion of the Combine starts today and will continue through Monday.
The Vikings spoke with all but one player at the Senior Bowl. Spielman wouldn't specify who the player was, but one player "blew off" the Vikings' attempt to interview him.
A Vikings new stadium bill at the State Legislature isn't expected to come forward for several weeks. Minnesota lawmakers are currently tackling a budget bill that will try to address the state's growing deficit. The time between the bill being presented will give the Vikings a chance to negotiate a stadium deal with either the City of Minneapolis or Ramsey County.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.