Cory Merrifield Misleads on Local Spending for #Vikings Stadium Construction #wilfare

Here is the latest misinformation from Cory Merrifield with @savethevikesorg:

FOD: 95% of total materials & labor costs from new #Vikings stadium are expected to go to local trades people in MN. @MNAFLCIO #MNLeg

First, from a labor perspective, it’s more labor and less materials intensive to refurbish an existing structure than to build a building from scratch. If you’ve ever done a remodeling project, you can probably relate to that.

But, beyond that, there is little chance that a new stadium construction project could meet Merrifield’s claims. Look back to the Twins stadium’s construction project to get a feel for why. Here are the out-of-state vendors who were involved in that project:

Key contractors and suppliers
ABS Support Services Inc., Liberty, Mo., tile supplies
A&L Products and Service Co., Chicago, raw materials
Aduddell Industries Inc., Oklahoma City, waterproofing
Ambassador Steel Corp., Auburn, Ind., structure reinforcing steel materials
Amsysco Inc., Romeoville, Ill., post tension material supply
Architectural Graphics Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., signage
Athena FF&E Inc., Valencia, Calif., seating manufacturing and installation
C&H Baseball Inc., Bradenton, Fla., baseball equipment and wall pads
Ceco Concrete Construction, Kansas City, Mo., concrete deck forming
Chicago Decking Inc., Merrillville, Ind., metal deck supplies
Daktronics Inc., Brookings, S.D., scoreboard and other video displays
Edward Kraemer & Sons Inc., Plain, Wis., Fifth Street bridge work
Full Compass Systems, Middleton, Wis., wall mount broadcast boxes
Gage Brothers Concrete Products Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D., architectural precast and support steel
Global Management & Supply, Warren, Mich., signage supplies, video supply and installation
Granite City Electric Supply Co., Quincy, Mass., lighting fixtures
Harmon Sign Inc., Novi, Mich., site and concession signage
High Hawk Distributing, Hobart, Wis., electrical supplies
Irwin Seating Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., seating
Landscape Forms Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich., site furnishings
Premise Communication, St. Louis, MO A/V systems
Schindler Elevator Corp., Morristown, N.J., elevators and escalators
Sports Fields Inc., Canton, Ga., playing field
Stafford-Smith Inc., Elkhorn, Wis., food service equipment
U.S. Chutes Corp., Bantam, Conn., facility chutes

That list covers 25 out of 179 vendors involved in the project, so 14% of vendors.

Some the items on that list are clearly expensive line items such as elevators from Schindler Elevator, seating manufacturing and installation from Athena FF&E, scoreboard and other video displays from Daktronics, and the playing field by Sports Fields Inc.

The Target Center Renovation plan does a more accurate job of illustrating the labor vs. construction costs:

  • More than 37% of the construction costs will go to labor.
  • 95% of the construction costs will go to Minnesotans.

Which I believe means that 95% of the 37% of labor costs will be Minnesotans working. And the vast majority of the construction costs may or may not go to Minnesotans.

Which leads to me to believe that Cory Merrifield’s tweet is highly misleading. Unless Minnesotans start manufacturing NFL stadium scoreboards, televisions, elevators, and escalators, there is no way we would be able to keep that large of a percentage of the money we spent in the State of Minnesota.

That said, if the Vikings are willing to live up to Cory Merrifield’s claims, and pay penalties to the state if they don’t hit the bar Merrifield has set, I’m cool with that. (That is, when the Vikings agree to build a stadium with their own money.)

By the way: One area where Vikings are off to a non-Minnesotan start is their contracting of stadium design work to with Kansas City, MO based design firm Populous.

One thought on “Cory Merrifield Misleads on Local Spending for #Vikings Stadium Construction #wilfare”

  1. I would imagine a renovation could use more local materials too, although I’m not sure about that 95% Target Center figure. Frankly, I’m not even sure what they want to renovate about Target Center.

    Here’s what the Vikings say (click my name for the link):

    “95% of the total materials and labor subcontract value will go to Minnesotans.”

    I’m not sure what “subcontract value” means, but I imagine it’s a relatively small subset of the total stadium project cost.

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