Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Football

Officials back new Vikings stadium plan

Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak jointly announced a new proposal for a downtown stadium that would host the NFL team.

The "People's Stadium," as it is being called, would sit on the current site of the Metrodome, would be publicly owned and would keep the Vikings in the city for the next 30 years.

At a projected cost of $975 million, the fixed-roof building would be financed without additional taxes for the citizens of Minnesota.

"This solution simply makes sense," said Mayor Rybak. "The site that has been the home of the Minnesota Vikings for the last 30 years will be its home for the next 30 years, in a publicly-owned, modern facility that takes advantage of the infrastructure in place and offers Minnesotans world-class sports and entertainment -- right in Minneapolis."

The Vikings would contribute $427 million toward the up-front costs, while the city of Minneapolis would commit $150 million and the state of Minnesota would fund $398 million. The city's part would come from redirecting a portion of existing convention center taxes, while the state would expand charitable gaming to pay its portion.

Legislative approval and support of the Minneapolis City Council are needed before construction can begin.

"We believe this proposal offers significant benefits for the city, the state, our fans and the team, and we look forward to working with the city of Minneapolis and the state legislature to pass a stadium bill this year," said Wilf.

The stadium would be owned and operated by a new stadium authority, comprised of three members appointed by the governor and two members appointed by the city of Minneapolis. The facility would also host year-round events, including high school sports and community programs from across the Minnesota, as well as national events that would likely include NCAA Final Fours, a Super Bowl and political conventions.

In addition, the project would provide up to 8,000 construction jobs and 5,000 jobs for suppliers during the three-year construction period.

"My constituents, like people across Minneapolis, want to get to work -- and this is the single biggest action we've taken in the last decade to create jobs," said Minneapolis city council president Barbara Johnson. "The new stadium also secures Minneapolis' place as the premier host city of the upper Midwest, and that means even more good jobs."

The Vikings played in Metropolitan Stadium from their 1961 inception through the end of the 1981 season. The club has called the Metrodome home since 1982.

Concerns over the feasibility of a new stadium intensified when the Vikings were forced out of the Metrodome due to a snowstorm in December of 2010, which caused the roof to tear and deflate.

The Vikings are set to play in the Metrodome next year, even if construction on a new building starts, and would likely play just one season in TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.