Minnesota Vikings Secure New Stadium Agreement

By Community | March 1, 2012

The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings have secured an agreement to build a new stadium near the site of the Metrodome, pending approval from the Minneapolis City Council and the state Legislature.

Governor Mark Dayton was joined by State Legislators, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Mark and Zygi Wilf of the Minnesota Vikings, and business and labor leaders to announce the agreement to build a new “People’s Stadium.” 

The new stadium will be publicly owned, support more than 13,000 jobs, require no general fund tax dollars, and keep the Vikings in Minnesota for the next 30 years.

Governor Dayton said, “This agreement results from countless hours of analyses, discussions, and negotiations; and I thank everyone involved for an extraordinary effort. The project would provide up to 8000 construction jobs and an additional 5000 jobs among suppliers during its three years of construction, employ many more through its ongoing operations, and keep the Minnesota Vikings here for the next 30 years — all without using a single dollar of General Fund tax revenues. The stadium would be owned by the people of Minnesota and managed for their benefit year-round by a Public Authority.

“I respectfully urge the Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota Legislature to vote their approval as soon as possible. Let’s put thousands of Minnesotans to work building our ‘People’s Stadium’.”

“We are pleased that those representatives of the Vikings, the City of Minneapolis and the state have successfully completed their negotiations to build a new stadium at the Metrodome site. We will now be working to finalize language for a new bill that will implement the proposed agreement,” said Rep. Morrie Lanning.

Senator Julie Rosen, said: “Keeping the Vikings in Minnesota is in the best interests of the state. This will be done without using any General Fund dollars that could go to our schools or nursing homes. It is a real win for the State of Minnesota.” 

“This solution simply makes sense. 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,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak

“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. The new stadium also secures Minneapolis’ place as the premier host city of the upper Midwest, and that means even more good jobs,” said Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson

“We are pleased to be able to join Governor Dayton, officials from the City of Minneapolis and our legislative leaders in offering this stadium agreement for consideration at the Capitol,” said Zygi Wilf, Vikings owner and chairman. “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.”

The Downtown East site includes the current Metrodome land with the addition of a game-day plaza on the stadium’s west side. The new “People’s Stadium,” estimated to be available for public use 355 days a year, will include a fixed-roof to allow year-round activities, 2,500 parking spaces adjacent to the stadium and a creative design including an attractive, functional interior similar to Target Field.

“This agreement represents true compromise and is a great step forward in achieving a long-term stadium solution in Minnesota,” said Mark Wilf, Vikings owner and president. “We appreciate the hard work from all of our partners in reaching this milestone, and we look forward to joining Governor Dayton, MSFC Chair Mondale, Minneapolis leaders and stadium bill authors to pass legislation that secures the long-term future of the Vikings in Minnesota and supports thousands of much-needed jobs.”

During the three-year building process, the project will support 13,000 jobs and require nearly 4.3 million work hours with nearly $300 million of the overall costs being wages for construction workers, boosting an industry currently suffering unemployment near 20%. As was the case with Target Field, over 90% of the labor and material cost will be invested back into the Minnesota economy. When combining the Vikings’ capital contribution with the team’s share of operating expenses/capital expenditures, the private contribution is more than half (50.6%) of the project’s life-cycle costs.

The stadium will 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 will be a statewide asset that can host year-round events, including high school sports and community programs from across the Minnesota, and national events like Major League Soccer, NCAA Final Fours, a Super Bowl and political conventions.

The stadium agreement is contingent upon legislative approval and the support of the Minneapolis City Council. Legislative authors expect to introduce stadium legislation on Monday, March 5. 

by Ismail Uddin