Vikings stadium reaches halfway point
The building is already beginning to be enclosed on the east side of the stadium and the goal is to have all the panels installed by May 2015, then to have the stadium fully enclosed by November 2015.
The general superintendent of the construction site, Dave Mensell, told Viking Update that apart from the roof, the concrete and enclosing the facility take the longest to do. So once those are completely finished up the rest of the construction should go by smoothly.
When the funding for the new stadium was first approved in May 2012 the project was projected to cost $975 million dollars. The total price tag of the stadium has gone up since then, however, and is now at $1.061 billion after the Wilf ownership group of the Vikings added $19.5 million back in March.
When asked about the new price tag of the stadium, Vikings owner and team president Mark Wilf said that they continue to price things out as they come and that their primary goal is to provide the Vikings fans with the best experience possible.
“I think that’s pretty clear where we are right now, so right now as we go through it we’re working together with the authority and getting our handle on all the items as we price them out,” Wilf said. “Again, the overriding concern is to make sure the fan experience is maintained.
“Our overriding theme here, and we’ve been this way since Day 1, and that’s to make sure the fan experience is No. 1 in the NFL and it’s a first-class experience. We’re going to do what it takes, working together with our partners of the (Minnesota) Sports Facilities Authority, to make sure it’s a venue that the entire state of Minnesota and all our fans can be proud of.”
In the coming months the stadium should begin to take shape into the final product, and that excites Wilf. Soon the fans will be able to see what they will be experiencing on game days.
“It’s amazing how quickly day-to-day things change,” he said. “I mean you have 900-plus workers on the site on a day like this, I think it’s going to peak over 1,100 if my understanding is right, so a lot of work happens. It transforms before our eyes, and I think the second half of construction the fans are really going to start seeing and feeling what they are going to experience when they go watch a Vikings game. So that should be great.”
Not only does the construction of the stadium excite the owners of the team and the fans of the team, but also the players on the team. The Vikings have even been able to use the stadium as a recruiting tool on free agents they have been looking to sign.
“I think it makes a difference with the players,” Wilf said. “I think they are starting to see what’s coming here, and a lot of great things are happening on the field with the coach and the team. And I think this building is a part of something exciting we are building.”
Since the Wilfs purchased the Vikings in 2005, they have had two goals in mind. The first was to build a new home for the team and the fans, and the second was to win a Super Bowl. The team will be able to move into their new home in 2016, and the team appears to be moving in the right direction on the field.
“That was No. 1 to solve the stadium situation and add a home that really is deserving of what our fans and the team deserves, and second is to win Super Bowls,” Wilf said. “So, like I said, I think we’re on the way with the team and we have some good progress and that is still our ultimate goal – to win games and win championships.”