Vikings kick in another $500K for new stadium

Bird supporters demonstrated outside the stadium authority meeting today. TimNelson/MPR News

The Vikings are spiffing up their $1 billion new home a little bit more.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the team is adding design upgrades and equipment worth up to about $518,000.

“These things are not significant in and of themselves, but what is significant is we are making progress on the final design details,” said Kelm-Helgen. Executive director Ted Mondale said it raised the total project cost from $1.023 billion to $1.024 billion. The new cash also comes on top of the $477 million they agreed to pay in 2012, as well as the $49 million they have put in over the last year.

The money will fund additional concession amenities, an eighth elevator in the building (in addition to 33 escalators), as well as skyway and press box design upgrades.

The MSFA said today that construction is moving ahead on the project itself. Mortenson Construction said the project is about 23 percent complete, on track for a July 2016 opening. That’s about $185 million of the total project cost.

New money offered by the Minnesota Vikings won’t go toward new “bird safe” glass. Bird supporters demonstrated outside the stadium authority meeting today. They say birds will be hurt and killed flying into transparent sides of the new stadium.