MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The public board working with the Minnesota Vikings to build a stadium in downtown Minneapolis has turned to a Wisconsin company to oversee the project.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chose Madison, Wis.,-based Hammes Co. on Friday to serve as its representative on the project. In that role, Hammes will oversee project design and development, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune report (http://bit.ly/RyOswu ).

Hammes served a similar role in the construction or renovation of several other NFL stadiums in recent years, including the renovation of Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Hammes has pledged to commit 45,000 work hours to the Minneapolis project at a cost that isn't to exceed $7.8 million.

The five-member stadium authority is the public watchdog on the $975 million project, of which nearly $500 million will come from public financing.

Minnesota lawmakers gave the go-ahead this spring for the stadium that will be built on the site of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The arena, which will seat 65,000 people but could be expanded to accommodate 72,000 fans, is expected to be ready for the 2016 season.

Hammes was also involved in the $430 million development of Ford Field in Detroit, where the Lions play, and with the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., which is home to both the New York Giants and Jets.

The stadium authority's other actions Friday included hiring Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. to conduct an environmental-impact study on the 33-acre stadium site. The maximum amount the firm will be paid is just under $750,000.

The announcements came one day after the football franchise announced it had hired Jim Cima as the senior project manager. Cima most recently oversaw an arena construction project for hockey's New Jersey Devils and before that was involved in the Philadelphia Eagles stadium construction.


Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com