The Big Story Blog

Vikings stadium report details likely overruns, delays

Posted at 10:48 AM on October 12, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport

Officials with the Metropolitan Council now are officially releasing their assessment of the Vikings stadium proposal for Arden Hills.

As previously reported, it's not pretty.

Vikings and Ramsey County officials are expected to speak on the matter at 12:30 p.m. While we wait for that, here's a link to the full report and the highlights:

First some quotes:
Susan Haigh, Metropolitan Council Chair

The funding partners should be particularly concerned about the risk of cost overruns. The potential for additional costs associated with overruns and delays could complicate the funding picture significantly.

Ted Mondale, Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission

What should be taken away from this assessment is that the needed land transfer, remediation, environmental reviews and permits are not likely to happen in the time frame that the proposal lays out. The proposal's schedule is too aggressive and the cost of remediation too uncertain.

Report Facts:

Site remediation would take longer and may cost more than the proposal assumes. The County/Vikings proposal estimates $30 million for remediation. While it is difficult to approximate site remediation costs due to uncertainties about existing contamination, a more realistic estimate is in the range of $23 million to $70 million, including land acquisition, and site demolition.

Ramsey County and the Vikings proposed early 2012 for the start of environmental remediation and estimate that clean up would take 12 months. However, remediation cannot begin until (Minnesota Pollution Control Authority) approves an action plan for remediation, which could delay the start of remediation by three to eight months.

According to the Vikings, delays would increase the cost of the total project $35 million to $57 million for each year the project is extended beyond 2015.

Ramsey County would be responsible for a share of any cost overruns. In addition to the County's $350 million investment, Ramsey County would be responsible for funding certain cost overruns per its agreement with the Vikings...Should the project come in at the high-range of $1.234 billion... Ramsey County would incur overruns totaling more than $50 million.

With the addition of a Ramsey County 0.5 percent sales tax, St. Paul would assume the highest retail tax rate in the seven-county metro area. It is difficult to say if a 0.5 percent change in tax rate would have a significant impact on consumer spending habits or business retention and development in St. Paul and Ramsey County. It may, however, compromise other public interests by limiting the county's and region's ability to finance other local or regional projects.

RAMCO delaying response to Met Council stadium report until 12:30 today, will be joined by Vikings veep Lester Bagley.
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About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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