New Stadium Will Employ Thousands of Minnesota Construction Workers

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 9, 2012 – 2:37 pm

With just several weeks remaining in the 2012 Legislative Session, discussions over a new stadium are continuing at the State Capitol. While much of the focus has been on the facility’s public-private financing plan, Governor Mark Dayton and many legislators view the project as an opportunity to put thousands of unemployed construction workers back on the job. Currently Minnesota’s construction industry is experiencing 20% unemployment, three times higher than the State’s overall unemployment figure. Given that building the stadium will require nearly 4.3 million work hours with almost $300 million in wages for construction workers, we can have a immediate impact on the suffering industry while building this publicly-owned State asset.

Be sure to check out the stadium video the team released today, which includes interviews from various members of Mortenson Construction, builders of both Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium. For a more in-depth look at the jobs impact of a new stadium, take a look at the following numbers:

– 13,000 jobs, including 7,500 construction jobs (three-year construction period)

Nearly 4.3 million work hours: According to Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), unemployment in the construction trades industry is nearly 20%, three times higher than Minnesota’s overall unemployment rate.

Jobs for Minnesotans: As was the case with Target Field, over 90% of the labor and subcontract value is
expected to go back to MInnesotans.

Provisions for women and minority-owned businesses: Project goals include agreements to contract with women and minority-owned businesses as well as small business contractors throughout the State.

Nearly $300 million in wages for construction workers: Fabrication and delivery of project materials will create separate, substantial number of jobs with living wages.

Minnesota benefits from putting construction workers back to work: During the construction period, the jobs supported by this project will generate roughly $10 million in income tax revenue for the State’s General Fund and approximately $5 million for the State’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fund.

Work can begin almost immediately: 900,000 work hours in the first year of construction.

New stadium has lasting effects on the State economy: State of Minnesota will collect $26 million annually from Vikings-related sales and income taxes in the first year of stadium operation, according to a study by Convention, Sports & Leisure. Tax revenue will grow to approximately $61 million per year by 2045.

3,400 on-going full and part-time jobs from operation of facility: Vikings game days currently support over 2,800 jobs.

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Hartman: Wilfs Confident In Vikings Offseason Plan

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 9, 2012 – 7:08 am

Whether pursuing a stadium solution to keep the team in Minnesota for generations or acquiring players in an attempt to field a winning team, the Wilf ownership group has spared no expense since taking over the club in 2005. They’ve been aggressive-but-responsible stewards of the franchise, and they remain popular among the fan base because of that.

What’s not necessarily been popular among the fan base, though, is the Vikings offseason approach. Coming off a 3-13 season, fans want to see instant improvement via the acquisition of big-name free agents that demand big-money contracts. Under the direction of GM Rick Spielman, however, the Vikings have taken a more calculated and long-term approach to rebuilding the team, choosing to build the foundation of the team through the draft while supplementing the roster via free agency.

And it’s a strategy the Wilfs endorse.

“We’re building through the draft and building in free agency in spots where it’s needed,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf told the Star Tribune’s Sid Hartman. “But we want to do it the right way, and I think we’re on that process. We’re going to get ten draft picks coming up in a few weeks, and we’re going to get a lot better through that.”

The Vikings had 10 draft choices last year, and nine of those selections remain a part of the team. A similar success rate this year, including hits early in the draft with 6 selections in the first 4 rounds, will go a long way toward improving the roster.

While Spielman’s approach is to lean on the draft as the main mechanism for acquiring talented players, Wilf told Hartman that the team is ready to write the check if the right free agent comes along.

“We’re looking every day to get better, whatever opportunity will present itself,” Wilf said. “We’re not going to rule out anything, but we’ve got a process we’re going through and we’re going to do things in a way that’s thought out with a plan, strategically, so we can be successful in the long term. If our general manager and our coach feel that a player is going to help us win, we will provide the resources to help us win, but we’re going to do it the right way.”

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