ST. PAUL (AP) -- The University of Minnesota began soliciting bids Monday from consultants for design work on a new football stadium the Golden Gophers would share with the Minnesota Vikings.
The university is looking for a company to study construction costs, environmental impact, transportation and other issues. Bids are due by July 16 and work must be done in time for a Dec. 1 report to the Legislature.
The university estimates spending up to $325,000 on the study, an amount that will be taken from a $500,000 legislative appropriation.
The money, diverted from a Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission account, was a consolation prize for the Vikings, who saw their hopes for a publicly-subsidized stadium take a back seat to a Twins ballpark drive.
Vikings owner Red McCombs has announced that he will explore a sale or relocation of the team because of stadium frustrations. But his top lobbyist, Lester Bagley, said Monday's action is a reason for optimism.
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