Construction bids for the $975 million Minnesota Vikings project are coming in about $10-25 million over expectations, according to Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. But never fear, because Kelm-Helgen says that groundbreaking will still go ahead before Thanksgiving, thanks to the magic of just starting to spend money without worrying about where the rest of it will come from:
Kelm-Helgen said that even if the public bonds are not sold in November, the construction schedule will not be delayed.
That’s because the state would offer a “grant agreement” committing itself to the bond sale, which would help allow the team to close and also allow key purchases to move ahead, including an order for $6 million to $8 million worth of steel that must be placed by mid-November.
It’s probably not a huge deal — even $25 million on a $975 million project amounts to a rounding error, and there’s plenty of room to cut a few more frills if need be to get the thing in under budget. Still, it’s worth remembering that “spend it now, figure out the details later” hasn’t worked out very well for this project so far. Is it time to bring out the fake Einstein quote again?