September 17, 2015 06:24 PM
The rain Thursday got in the way of a big step for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Crews were supposed to place the last steel beam on the roof of U.S. Bank Stadium, but weather delayed the plans.
Make no mistake, though. This is still a major milestone. Appropriately, "topping out," as it's called, is a Scandinavian tradition.
"The Vikings would do that and then they would move on to the next community and continue wreaking havoc, which is what we hope the Vikings will be doing with Detroit in just a couple of days," Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith said.
The ceremony itself is a high-point in a stadium building process sometimes full of the opposite. A funding battle left taxpayers paying about half-a-billion dollars. We've seen a very public, high-profile resignation, and disputes over who-pays-what remain unsettled.
When asked about another closed-door meeting scheduled for Friday in which the ongoing financial dispute between the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority and Mortenson Construction will be discussed, MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said a very small percentage of work is actually in dispute.
"We're just getting to the point now of being ready to go forward with mediation," she said.
A clear-cut winner appears to be team ownership. This week, Forbes said the Vikings are now worth about $1 billion more than what the Wilf family paid for them only a decade ago.
When asked about the Forbes estimate, which listed the Vikings as being worth nearly $1.6 billion, a 38 percent increase over last year, Vikings Owner Mark Wilf replied, "We're focusing today on the fact that we have an incredible building here, a state of the art facility."
That facility now opens in less than a year. Given the weather, let's just hope none of the players are superstitious.
Updated: September 17, 2015 06:24 PM
Created: September 17, 2015 03:12 PM
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