Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michele Kelm-Helgen told a legislative committee overseeing the new Vikings stadium that cost-cutting efforts will not impact any major design features and a groundbreaking is still on schedule.
Kelm-Helgen said Thursday that initial material bids are higher than estimated, and that MSFA is already considering minor design changes to save some cash. However, she specifically said those efforts will not impact the glass roof and pivoting wall.
In addition, a final purchase agreement was drawn up Thursday for the Downtown East Plaza square for $19.1 million, significantly less than the owners originally asked. The plaza had been the subject of a use agreement between the Vikings, MSFA and plaza owner Minneapolis Venture LLC.
The authority said two few weeks ago it agreed to purchase the plaza that's bordered by Park Avenue S. and Kirby Puckett Place between 4th and 5th Streets for $17.1 million. Originally, the authority offered $13.1 million for the site, but Minneapolis Venture said in April that $24 to $26 million would be a more fitting price, the Star Tribune reported.
Kelm-Helgen said the price of the plaza is within the budget they had originally established for the project and that a November groundbreaking is still realistic for the stadium.
MSFA is expecting a guaranteed maximum price from Mortenson Construction next week which will allow financing to advance for approval, and in turn, groundbreaking can take place "within days," Kelm-Helgen said.