Big doings on the stadium front today. The Vikings announced on Friday that 2013 will be the team’s final year at Metrodome and they will play the 2014 and 2015 seasons outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers. The Vikes had originally hoped to only play one year at TCF but obviously it didn’t work out that way. Outdoor football returns to Minnesota.
Other stadium news. The Vikes have chosen local Minnesota firm Mortenson Construction as the contractor. The Mortenson folks will get $12.5 million to complete the new stadium with the chance to earn up to $15 million if they meet certain performance incentives. Timeline-wise, it looks like this. Groundbreaking for the new facility will be in October. Construction will continue while the Metrodome is still being used, but in February 2014 the old place will come down. The new stadium will open July 1, 2016. Hopefully a Super Bowl season will soon follow for the Vikings.
In case you’re wondering, yes, the plan is still to have some manner of retractable element to the stadium. Roof, window, wall – something will retract. The contractors will have to finalize those plans.