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MSFA, Vikings Continue Evaluating Architectural Firms

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 14, 2012 – 12:15 pm

Together with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), the Vikings continue to evaluate the five architectural and engineering firms that submitted bids to design the new multi-purpose stadium in Downtown East Minneapolis.

Last week representatives from each of the firms made their pitch to members of the Vikings, including team owners Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf, and the MSFA. The public then had an opportunity to hear directly from the firms and see their previous stadium projects in an open house at Mall of America Field last Thursday, September 6. Now it is up to the Vikings and the Authority to jointly select the firm that will best design this State asset.

“We are very impressed with the knowledge, the expertise and the creativity of the five firms that presented their proposals last week,” said Vikings Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley. “Each of the firms is highly qualified and remains in contention for this project. We are completing our due diligence on all five candidates to ensure we select the right team to design this stadium.”

Included in the analysis is a look at each firm’s most relevant experience and qualifications, particularly with respect to multi-purpose venues, NFL requirements, sustainable design, cutting edge technology, and inclusion of women and minority-owned businesses. The final decision will take all of the evaluations into consideration and will involve significant discussions between the Authority and the Vikings. While the selection of an architect will open the door to concepts and a vision for the new stadium, for now the focus remains solely on making the right decision.

“The Authority and the Vikings are spending the necessary time to review and select the best architectural team for the stadium and are anxious to move forward to keep the project on time and on budget,” said MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. “We only have one chance to do this, and we want to ensure we select the right team to build this stadium that meets the needs of the community, the Vikings and all users of the facility.”

The final selection is expected by the MSFA’s next meeting on Friday, October 5.

 

Vikings Submit Bid to Host Future Super Bowl
Recently the Vikings submitted a bid to the National Football League to host the 2018, 2019 or 2020 Super Bowl at the new stadium. The issue will not be voted on by NFL owners until the spring of 2014, but the Vikings will immediately begin working with the City of Minneapolis, the business community and Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and visitors association, to aggressively pursue bringing this major event to our market.


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From The Ground Up: Vikings Offense Paced By Ground Attack

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 14, 2012 – 6:42 am

It’s no secret. The NFL is a passing league. In 2011, only 3 teams (Denver, Houston, San Francisco) ran the ball more frequently than they passed it, and nearly 33% of NFL teams threw the ball in excess of 60% of the time. Also in 2011, 3 NFL QBs (Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford) threw for 5,000+ yards and 3 had (Brees, Stafford, Aaron Rodgers) 40+ TD passes.

While it’s no question the preferred method of moving the ball in the NFL is through the air, there are still teams and coaches who place a tremendous value on running the ball. The Vikings and Head Coach Leslie Frazier fall into that category. And it’s for good reason. Since 2007 when the Vikings drafted Adrian Peterson and hired Frazier as defensive coordinator, the Vikings have been the NFL’s best rushing team. They rank first over that span in total rushing yards (11,272), per-carry average (4.7), rushing TDs (92) and runs of 10+ yards (333).

“It’s big for our team,” Frazier said of the running game. “In a League where passing the football has become first for so many teams, we’ve taken a little bit different approach and featuring a guy who we think is the best running back in pro football in Adrian Peterson and because of that, it takes a lot of pressure off our young quarterback as well as our passing game.”

The Vikings understand the importance of being able to move the ball through the air, too. That’s why they signed free agents such as TE John Carlson and Jerome Simpson, and that’s why they used draft picks on the likes of LT Matt Kalil and a pair of WRs in the 4th round (Jarius Wright, Greg Childs). The development of young QB Christian Ponder was priority A for the Vikings this past offseason, and everyone at Winter Park knows Ponder’s progress will be key to future success. Frazier’s contention, though, is that the presence of a productive running game will ease the pressure on Ponder because opponents are forced to figure out a way to contain Peterson and Gerhart before they think about defending the Vikings passing attack.

“Having a guy like the guy that we do have makes us very unique from an offensive standpoint,” Frazier explained, “but it helps us to achieve our goals as a football team, having a good running game and establishing the run for us to run our offense and really win the way we want to win.”

As he’s explained, Frazier wants the Vikings running game to set the tone and allow Ponder and Co. to operate with more freedom. Additionally, being able to run the ball well can shorten a game for a team when it has the lead. But Frazier also explained that his desire to run the ball well is not about being a conservative team that looks to shorten the game and win close contests. Frazier sees the Vikings running game as one with explosion and scoring capability.

“For us, that’s exactly the approach we take but we also believe that we can also get explosive plays through the running game because of who we have at the halfback position,” Frazier said. “It’s not just ground and pound. We have a guy who can break the 20-yard run, the 60-yard run. Most people have to get that throwing the football down the field, and we want to be able to do the same. That’s one of the reasons we made the offseason acquisition of Jerome (Simpson) and try to feature Percy the way we do. But being able to have a balanced attack and still feature our run game is who we are.”

Side Note
Peterson and Gerhart get most of the credit for the Vikings productive running attack. On Sunday in the season opener, though, another member of the backfield was key to the Vikings ground game – FB Jerome Felton. Both Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave mentioned how well Felton played in his first regular season game as a Viking.

Said Frazier: “He played extremely well and that was a lot of snaps for him. There wasn’t one time a season ago we had that many snaps with our fullback on the field and a lot of it had to do with the way he played and what’s happening when he is on the field. It was really encouraging for all of us to see him dominate the way he did. There may be more opportunities for him as we go forward.”

Said Musgrave: “Jerome Felton played really well. He was a presence out there. He was also a presence on the sideline in terms of being the leader. He suggested a couple of amendments to our game plan during the game and we took them to heart and they really paved the way for good runs there in the second half.”


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Juhl Wind, Inc. To Power 2012 Home Games With 100% Renewable Energy

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 14, 2012 – 5:10 am

Pipestone, MN – September 7, 2012 — Juhl Wind, Inc. (OTCBB: JUHL), the Leader in Community Wind Power is pleased to announce on Friday that they are partnering with the Vikings to provide renewable energy credits (“RECs”), generated by one of their operating wind energy facilities, to offset the electricity used at Mall of America Field for all Vikings home games during the 2012 season.

Starting with the Vikings first home game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, Juhl Wind will provide a total of 520,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy over the course of the team’s eight regular season home games, which is equal to approximately 507,520 pounds of CO2 emissions.

“The renewable energy produced will offset all of the electricity used throughout Mall of America Field— from the concession stands and ticket offices, to the field lighting and scoreboards, making the Vikings one of the only NFL teams to play in a 100% green-powered facility during the entire 2012-2013 season,” stated Corey Juhl, Vice President of Juhl Wind Inc.

Steve LaCroix, Vikings VP of Sales and Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer commented, “We are very pleased to partner with Juhl Wind on this renewable energy initiative for the stadium. The Minnesota Vikings are committed to becoming more environmentally friendly and utilizing renewable energy resources whenever possible. We certainly encourage other households and businesses in Minnesota to participate alongside us”.

Renewable Energy Credits
Renewable energy facilities generate renewable energy credits (RECs) when they produce electricity. Purchasing these credits is the widely accepted way to reduce the environmental footprint of electricity consumption and help fund renewable energy development. Purchasing RECs at the same quantity as electricity consumption guarantees that the energy being used is added to the power grid from a renewable energy facility and supports the further development of these facilities.

About Juhl Wind, Inc.
Juhl Wind is an established leader in the renewable energy industry with a focus on Community Based Wind Power development, ownership and management throughout the United States and Canada. Juhl Wind pioneered Community-Based wind farms, developing the currently accepted financial, operational and legal structure providing local ownership of medium-to-large scale wind farms. To date, the Company has completed 21 wind farm projects and provides operations management and oversight across the portfolio. Juhl Wind services every aspect of wind farm development from full development and ownership, general consultation, construction management and system operations and maintenance. With its consolidation of the Valley View, Winona County and Woodstock Hills wind farms, the Company has now invested in and operates 21.7 MWs of wind power through its independent power producer (“IPP”) subsidiary, Juhl Renewable Assets, Inc. Through its subsidiary, Juhl Renewable Energy Systems, Inc. (“JRES”), the Company also provides full sales and service to smaller, on-site wind and solar projects in addition to our larger Community Wind Farms. Now, with its acquisition of Power Engineers Collaborative, Juhl provides a full range of engineering services to the energy industry, building systems markets and heavy industry. Juhl Wind is based in Pipestone, Minnesota and has offices in Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison and Milwaukee. Juhl is traded on the OTCBB under the symbol JUHL. Additional information is available at the Company’s website at http://www.juhlwind.com or by calling 877-584-5946 (or 877-JUHLWIN).


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