MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings went to their financial bench to fill holes in the new stadium's aggressive design.
Rising costs had endangered some facets of the billion-dollar facility now under construction on the demolished Metrodome site.
Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said that the cost of higher prices for steel and completing "key"parts of the stadium design, including the signature high doors that open to the outdoors, added to the overall costs.
Kelm-Helgen said Friday that all parties to the project, including the Vikings, felt it was important to deliver all the amenities promised in the original approval of the project.
"Very clearly there is no more state money. We all know that. We live within the budget," said Kelm-Helgen. "But, I am really happy to say that probably the major piece that made a difference as we solved our budget issue was the Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf family stepping up.
"The team, the Wilf family, are putting in an additional $49 million into this project."
The additional amount brings the total cost of the new stadium to $1.024 billion. The Vikings share of that rises from $477 million to $526 million, more than half the total cost.
"Our goal has always been to have the best game-day experience for our fans and all Minnesotans who come to visit this stadium,"said Steve Poppen, Minnesota Vikings Executive Vice President and CFO.
The MSFA also announced Friday that the Authority has hired the Sports Management Group of Philadelphia to manage the stadium. SMG's website bills itself as the "gold standard" of public facility management with more than 200 venues as clients.
SMG manages four other NFL stadiums: Soldier Field in Chicago,The Super Dome in New Orleans, NRG Stadium in Houston and Ever Bank Field in Jacksonville.
"They have given us a revenue guarantee of $6.75 million annually," said Kelm-Helgen. "That will come to the authority. That will come to state."
Kelm-Helgen said that all three major sports facility management firms had expressed interest in the new Vikings Stadium, before SMG was selected.