The OTHER reason HKS is designing a new stadium

Image used by permission of Irwin Seating Co.

Dallas-based HKS Inc. may have been selected to design the new stadium, 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 gasbag that is the current fixed roof at the Metrodome and a high-buck convertible version, like the retractable roofs in Dallas and Indianapolis.And then there’s the fine print.

Drill way, way down into the design services contract — down to page 108. There, you’ll find this curiosity – a list of 32 subcontractor tasks for various bits and pieces of the stadium. Here’s the list:

  • Architect
  • Associate architect
  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Plumbing and fire protection engineering
  • ADA design
  • Audio, video, communications and information technology design
  • Acoustic design
  • Branding and theming, including naming rights and sponsorship signage
  • Building information modeling for all phases of design
  • Code compliance
  • Experiential graphics
  • Facade and window wall consultant
  • Fall arrest design and envelope maintenance design
  • Concessions, merchandising and catering services
  • Furniture, fixtures and equipment design
  • Interior design
  • Energy modeling, building analysis and commissioning
  • LEED/Green Globes certified design
  • Specialty lighting
  • Vertical transportation design and engineering
  • Traffic and pedestrian engineering
  • Wayfinding signage
  • Telecommunications, high density wifi and neutral host DAS
  • Wind engineering
  • Retractable roof consultant
  • Full time site representation
  • Parking garages
  • Playing field consultant
  • Parking garage(s)
  • Security
  • Demographic analysis for premium product
HKS, as you might expect, is taking the first task on the list — architecture. But 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 its 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:

[scribd id=108862545 key=key-k9z2p9e5guxw34y21g3 mode=scroll]