Officials: 634 days to go, new Minnesota Vikings stadium on schedule to open in 2016



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MINNEAPOLIS — Nine months after the old Metrodome was demolished, the Minnesota Vikings' new $1 billion downtown stadium is nearly a quarter complete and will be finished on schedule in 2016, officials said Monday.

Reporters and photographers were given a tour of the construction site, where officials said $184 million of $803 million of contract work has been finished and more than $1 million worth of work is being accomplished daily. In a conference room at project headquarters, a game clock counts down the 634 days until completion.

The new stadium was 23 percent complete at the end of September, project director Allen Troshinsky of Mortenson Construction said.

"There actually is a lot of finished space over there. It's like you could start painting some of the walls," said Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgren of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. She said more than 650 workers are at the site daily, and over 200 Minnesota companies are involved. That workforce is expected to swell to more than 1,100 by next summer.

"That's what it's about: Minnesota jobs," Kelm-Helgren said.

Thirteen cranes are operating at the site, and two more will be added. Concrete operations are in full swing and are about halfway complete, with 55,000 cubic yards of concrete poured so far, Troshinsky said.

The site should be enclosed by the winter of 2015-16, with mainly interior work continuing from November 2015 to June 2016, Mortenson general superintendent Dave Mansell said. The stadium's "substantial completion" date is July 2016.

Pouring concrete in the winter may be a challenge, but Mansell said he saw no problems executing the design of the 65,000-seat building, which features a steel "prow" on its western side rising more than 270 feet from grade.

"I don't design them, I just build them," Mansell said. "If they can draw it, we can build it."

The Vikings are set to play in their new stadium with an inaugural preseason in mid-August 2016. For the next two seasons the NFL team is playing in TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota. The new stadium will host the 2018 Super Bowl.

The Metrodome was torn down and the site excavated in November.

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