Numbers show stadium construction project meeting local hiring goals

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Minnesota's new football stadium is being built by Minnesotans.

Six months into the project, numbers obtained by the Pioneer Press show 92 percent of the construction workers building the Vikings new stadium live within the state. Most of the rest are Wisconsinites, the newspaper found.

The promise of new construction jobs was one of the arguments that Gov. Mark Dayton made in urging approval of the public funding that's paying about half the cost of the $1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Golden Valley-based Mortenson Construction is managing the project and the data released to the Pioneer Press show 70 of the 76 subcontractors are also Minnesota companies.

While the stadium was designed by a Dallas-based company, HKS Inc., most of the work since then has been handled locally.

Michelle Kelm-Helgen, who chairs the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, tells the paper "I feel like that's been ingrained in all of us that this is about Minnesota jobs, and I think we've passed that along to the other companies that are working here, and people get it."

Finance & Commerce reported last month that even though two years worth of construction is still ahead, the project team is in the home stretch of awarding the work. A Mortenson executive said the company plans to award the last of the bids in October.

The Pioneer Press says the numbers it obtained also show the project is meeting its targets for hiring racial minorities (32 percent) and women (6 percent).

The Vikings are so excited about their new home they have a webcam that allows you to watch its construction in real time.

Finance & Commerce says the project remains on budget and on schedule for its opening in 2016.

At last week's meeting of the Sports Facilities Authority Vikings executives said team owners will provide money to increase the number of escalators and television screens in the new building.

The stadium has already been awarded the 2018 Super Bowl and state officials are now angling to land an NCAA men's basketball Final Four, as well.

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