Civic beat // With selection of architect, fans get first glimpse at stadium concepts

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Sept. 28 announced that it has selected HKS Sports & Entertainment Group to design the new Vikings stadium.

The Dallas-based firm designed two recently built NFL stadiums, winning the contracts for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. 

The MFSA awarded HKS a $34 million design services contract. After the contract was awarded, HKS released conceptual images of what a new stadium might look like. 

While no local firms were among the five bidders for the project, HKS is promising to partner with a local architecture firm and to target minority- and women-owned firms for portions of the contract. The MFSA says HKS will hire 11 percent women-owned firms and 8 percent minority-owned firms. 

“We are excited to begin our process with the people of Minnesota. We will soon have a local architecture firm as a partner, and are excited to hire targeted businesses to help with our design work,” Bryan Trubey of HKS said in a statement. 

HKS-designed stadiums in Dallas and Indianapolis have retractable features. 

In Dallas, the roof and both walls can open. In Indianapolis, the roof and windows are retractable. 

The $975 million budget for the new stadium was only supposed to cover a fixed-roof for the stadium, but MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said the MSFA is hoping to find a way to fund some sort of retractable element. 

“I think everyone is committed to try to see if there’s a possibility of doing some sort of retractable feature of some kind,” she said. “[We’re thinking] about potentially a retractable wall that could open toward downtown … as one possibility.” 

Kelm-Helgen said she expects the MSFA to pick a construction company in November. 

Lester Bagley of the Minnesota Vikings said that once a construction company is picked, more of the stadium details would come into focus. It’s still unclear if the Vikings will have to spend one or two seasons playing in TCF Bank Stadium during construction. 

“It’s in everybody’s best interest to try to limit the number of games and seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, but that I think will be more determined over the next few months here,” Bagley said. 

HKS, the Vikings and the MSFA will begin a public meeting process on Oct. 15 at Minneapolis City Hall. The groups will meet with the Minneapolis Stadium Implementation Committee at 4 p.m.

To see the HKS portfolio, 

visit hksinc.com.

Public hearings set for Southwest Light Rail 

Residents will get a chance to weigh in on the Southwest Light Rail Transit project in November, as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority has scheduled three public hearings. 

The public hearings are so that stakeholders can provide input on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement that was scheduled for an Oct. 12 release. That statement is available at southwesttransitway.org, but hadn’t been released in time for publication of this issue of the Southwest Journal. 

Each public hearing will be preceded by an open house, where people can learn more about the project and the DEIS. The project would connect Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis via a 15-mile line that would come through parts of Southwest Minneapolis. 

Public hearings with open houses are scheduled for 4 p.m. on Nov. 13 in the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St.; 5 p.m. Nov. 14 at St. Louis Park City Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd.; and for 5 p.m. Nov. 29 at Eden Prairie City Hall, 8080 Mitchell Road. 

The public will have 60 days to weigh on. Comments can be emailed to [email protected]; mailed to 701 N. 5th St., Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55415; or in person at the public hearings.