The new $975 million stadium that is set to open in time for the Minnesota Vikings’ 2016 season will be designed to also accommodate baseball.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), which will own and operate the new downtown Minneapolis stadium, recently announced that it reached an agreement with the Vikings that “will accomplish the Vikings’ needs and ensure an outstanding indoor venue for various uses throughout the year, including collegiate, high school, and amateur baseball.”
The stadium will be designed in a way that accommodates a baseball field with a 400-foot-deep center field, the MSFA said. The stadium will also feature retractable seats on the north sideline and removable dugouts.
The MSFA announced earlier this month that Golden Valley-based Mortenson Construction—which has built other local stadiums including Target Field, the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, and the Xcel Energy Center—was selected as construction manager for the new multi-use stadium. Mortenson agreed to a fee of $12.5 million, or about 1.8 percent of the estimated $690 million construction cost; it could make up to $15 million if it meets certain benchmarks, while financial penalties will be imposed if construction is not completed on time.
Mortenson estimates that the stadium construction project will involve 4.25 million work hours and employ 7,500 workers. The stadium will supplant the Vikings’ current home at the Metrodome.
While the Minnesota Twins departed the Metrodome for Target Field in 2010, the University of Minnesota Gophers and other college and prep baseball teams reportedly want to play early-season games in the new stadium Vikings stadium.
The stadium bill passed by the Minnesota Legislature dictated that the new stadium must be available for baseball, according to a report by the Star Tribune. Gophers coach John Anderson was unhappy with the proposed 285-foot distance to the right-field foul pole, but the Vikings and baseball coaches have apparently reached a compromise, the Minneapolis newspaper reported. There will be a 300-foot right field foul line, according to the MSFA.