Minneapolis unveils $990 million Vikings-Wolves stadium-arena construction-renovation plan

And the Minneapolis plan for a Minnesota Vikings stadium is in. The highlights:

  • An $895 million domed football stadium on the site of the Metrodome (and, according to Reuters, “incorporat[ing] parts of the existing Metrodome”), plus a $95 million renovation of the nearby Target Center.
  • The state of Minnesota would contribute one-third, or $300 million, as a bill in the legislature has already proposed.
  • The city would kick in $195 million (22%), to be collected from a ticket tax, parking fees, restaurant and liquor taxes, a new 0.15% city sales tax, and the extension of taxes currently being used to pay off the city’s convention center.
  • The Vikings would pay $400 million (40%) of the stadium cost.

Clearly this plan faces a ton of hurdles: The state bill has to be passed by the legislature before it goes home on Monday. The city money would need a voter referendum for approval. And did I mention that Vikings execs hate the idea?

Lester Bagley, a Vikings’ vice president, said the Vikings appreciated the proposal but that a $400 million contribution was too much. He also noted that playing in the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium for three years while the new field was built would cost the Vikings $40 million in lost revenue.

“$440 million for the site does not work, and it’s not something we can support,” Bagley said. “Three parties need to negotiate a deal, and this does not accomplish that.”

Still, it’s got people talking about where to build a stadium, not whether to build one, and the Vikings owners have to be happy about that. If you’re in the Twin Cities and want to join the conversation, veteran MinnPost stadium reporter Jay Weiner is interviewing Minnesota stadium czar Ted Mondale next Monday night; tickets are $15. Hey, if 60 million people show up, maybe they can use the proceeds to build a stadium!


6 comments on “Minneapolis unveils $990 million Vikings-Wolves stadium-arena construction-renovation plan

  1. I’d be ticked at Minneapolis if I were the Vikings. They say they need more parking for tailgating and an outdoor stadium, and instead they propose the opposite. Then they bump the team’s commitment from $200-$250M (1/3 of a $600-$750M outdoor stadium) to $400M. Why waste everyone’s time? To get elected.

  2. @Ben Miller: Of course you’d be ticked if you were the millionaire owners of a sports franchise grandstanding for a handout, but the state calls your bluff and asks you to pay for less than half of the project you intend to profit from.

    I’d like to know just how much of the Metrodome will be incorporated into the new building. It might be easier to pitch this thing if they just called it a renovation.

  3. @Anderson It ain’t grandstanding if it’s real. Vikes can move to L.A. if things degenerate in Minny. People in MSP can talk fiction like the substitution effect all they want (if we have no sports, then everyone will pack the comedy clubs!), but losing the Vikes would be a social and economic blow. Is it worth that much money to keep the team? Who knows? But it almost certainly isn’t worth $400M to the Vikes to try to stay.

    The bigger point here is that it’s just plain insulting to have a back room negotiation and publicly announced plan without consulting with a key party. How is it productive to tick off the Vikes, waste the public’s time and energy and spend whatever money they’ve spent having Ellerbe Beckett draw up a new Vapordome?

  4. Of course, now that the Vikings have just agreed to pay $407 million toward a stadium in Ramsey County, this whole debate seems kind of silly.

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