ST. PAUL (AP) - A white-collar brigade of accountants, architects, lawyers and other consultants has locked in millions of dollars in Minnesota Vikings stadium contracts that would complicate any effort to derail the project.

Nearly two dozen contracts examined by The Associated Press reflect the ample amounts already spent or committed to development of the $975 million downtown football stadium.

They range from quick deals worth a few thousand dollars to a $34 million deal with a Texas-based architecture firm well along in its design process.

It's difficult to assign an overall value to the contracts because some merely set an outer limit for work being periodically billed, with the best-paid consultants earning nearly $400 per hour and others entitled to expense reimbursements.

The signed agreements demonstrate a project nearing a no-turning-back point.

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