New Minn. Vikings stadium will have foreign flair

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Backers of the controversial $1 billion Vikings stadium regularly hold the project up as an economic driver that will boost the state construction industry and rely heavily on Minnesota-derived materials.

Construction planners demonstrated last week that those goals are easier stated than achieved.

Take the steel that will make up the stadium skeleton and hold up the translucent roof. State lawmakers made clear they want northern Minnesota’s Iron Range to be a major player.

But Mortenson Construction executive John Wood told the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority that some high-grade steel will be imported from Europe.

Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen says some technical specifications are so precise that the construction team has few options. But she says officials are focused on spending much of the budget on local supplies and workers.

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