Report: Construction company ‘struggling’ to keep Vikes stadium under budget

It’s getting so you can’t build a football stadium for $1 billion anymore.

Street and Smith’s Sports Business Daily reports that Mortenson Construction Company is “struggling” to bring the stadium project in under the $737 million number approved by project officials earlier this month.

Four days later on Oct. 8, sources said, Mortenson provided the Vikings with new numbers showing them hard costs had increased by $45M to a total of $782M, a major swing in price after months of negotiations.

Mortensen Senior VP John Wood wrote in an e-mail, “We have not yet completed the estimating process to arrive at a GMP (guaranteed maximum price) and it would therefore be inappropriate for me to discuss this subject.”

Sources said the new set of numbers has alarmed the Vikings to the point that they have had private conversations with a separate contractor to find out what their options are.

Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that he could not confirm hard costs were running $45M over budget or that the team has contacted other builders about reviewing Mortenson’s estimates. Bagley said, “It is crucial we bring this project in on budget.”

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said that the hard budget remains a moving target. She said $782M “is not a number I’ve heard.” She added, “Some of the bids are coming back higher than we had hoped to see, and in some cases, budgeted for. The numbers are all moving around, with things in and out. To this point, none are hard and fast. It’s changing day to day.”

The stadium is the biggest project ever tackled by Mortenson.