Vikings: ‘No more wiggle room’ in stadium schedule

Published 10:55 am Thursday, September 11, 2014

ST. PAUL — The latest construction schedule for the Minnesota Vikings $1 billion stadium leaves “no more wiggle room,” a team official said Wednesday.

Minnesota Vikings vice president Lester Bagley told The Associated Press that the new “substantial completion” date of July 29 will be cutting it close. It has slid by a full month since an initial schedule was adopted less than a year ago. The Vikings are set to hold the inaugural preseason in mid-August 2016, but Bagley said the team is banking on having a soft-opening first.

“We want to get an event or events in before the first Vikings game to get the bugs out and run people through there,” Bagley said. “There’s no more wiggle room for sure. But everyone has buckled down to get it done.”

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Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen apprised a legislative oversight panel of construction progress Wednesday and the revised date was included in her presentation without reference to it being changed. As if to demonstrate the aggressive timeline, Kelm-Helgen told lawmakers that crews have recently been working around the clock to take advantage of good weather and she said the signature part-glass roof could start taking shape early next year.

“If you drive by you’ll be amazed to see the progress being made,” she said.