The fine print on HKS and a new stadium for the Vikings

Lucas-Suite-Signature.jpgDallas-based HKS Inc. was selected to design the new “People’s Stadium” in Minneapolis, and there was a fair amount of discussion about why at the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority meeting last week. At least one stadium watcher praised the firm for its “third way,” for coming up with some novel, flexible alternatives to the inflated, fixed roof at the Metrodome and a high-buck convertible version, like the retractable roofs in Dallas and Indianapolis. (That’s the Irwin Seating Co. suite seats at HKS-designed Lucas Oil Stadium above)

But drill way, way down into the design services contract — down to page 108. There, you’ll find this curiosity – a list of 34 contractor tasks for various bits and pieces of the stadium design. Here’s the list:

  1. Architect
  2. Associate architect
  3. Civil engineering
  4. Structural engineering
  5. Mechanical engineering
  6. Electrical engineering
  7. Plumbing and fire protection engineering
  8. ADA design
  9. Audio, video, communications and information technology design
  10. Acoustic design
  11. Branding and theming, including naming rights and sponsorship signage
  12. Building information modeling for all phases of design
  13. Code compliance
  14. Experiential graphics
  15. Facade and window wall consultant
  16. Fall arrest design and envelope maintenance design
  17. Concessions, merchandising and catering services
  18. Furniture, fixtures and equipment design
  19. Interior design
  20. Energy modeling, building analysis and commissioning
  21. LEED/Green Globes certified design
  22. Specialty lighting
  23. Vertical transportation design and engineering
  24. Traffic and pedestrian engineering
  25. Wayfinding signage
  26. Telecommunications, high density wifi and neutral host DAS
  27. Wind engineering
  28. Retractable roof consultant
  29. Full time site representation
  30. Parking garages
  31. Playing field consultant
  32. Parking garage(s)
  33. Security
  34. Demographic analysis for premium product

HKS, as you might expect, is taking the first job on the list — architect. But in the contract, they’re also tabbed for the LAST item, “demographic analysis for premium product.”

That’s a fairly cryptic listing — much as the Vikings have been cryptic about what may be one of the more controversial elements of a potential stadium financing plan, personal seat licenses. They’ve said they haven’t decided yet whether it’s something Minnesota Vikings fans will buy. But team vice president Lester Bagley says the design contract doesn’t have code for PSL’s buried in the fine print.

That “demographic analysis for premium product” then?

“It’s actually one of the services that set them apart,” Bagley said. He cited the market studies in Indianapolis and Dallas. In Indy, the firm found a smaller, 8-person suite would make a good “product” to offer at Lucas Oil Stadium. “They measure the market and try to understand the what the demand will be for various seating and hospitality options,” Bagley said. “And we’re very interested in that.”

Here’s the the contract, in all its fine print glory:

Design Services Agreement