What do you get when you’re a team that has $1.1 billion in public stadium subsidies? Not anything you want, apparently, because $1.1 billion doesn’t go as far as it used to:
Officials for the team and public authority overseeing construction have been forced to trim their project wish list to keep the downtown Minneapolis stadium within budget.
Among the potential casualties: a 400-stall parking garage a block north of the stadium, a skyway linked to a ramp a block south, two large escalators and as much as 40 feet from the height of five massive, pivoting glass doors at the venue’s main entrance.
“We only have $975 million in the budget, and there’s only so many things you can get under that number,” said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley.
This is actually pretty common in stadium deals — for some reason, there’s not a stadium developer in the world that can manage to come up with a cost projection that doesn’t end up with overruns. (If you’re wondering whether they do this intentionally in order to lowball costs and make it easier to get stadium plans approved, you are a horrible suspicious person with no faith in human goodness.) Still, it’s pretty impressive that we’re now talking about “value engineering” for projects with a near-billion-dollar price tag.
Anyway, this news is apparently stirring controversy in the state legislature that approved the plan, because I see there’s a headline about a legislator raising questions about the Vikings’ lease:
State Rep. Pat Garofalo is questioning a provision in the lease for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium that prohibits gun shops from being vendors in the new facility.
Oh. Never mind.