SBD/Issue 15/Facilities & Venues

Vikings Stress Need For New Stadium To State Legislature

Vikings Will Not Renew Metrodome Lease,
Which Expires After 2011 Season
Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley Thursday told Minnesota state legislators that the team "would not renew its Metrodome lease, which expires after the 2011 season," according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Bagley said that Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf is "increasingly battling pressure from other" NFL owners. Bagley: "They don't ask how's Adrian Peterson doing. They ask how is the stadium doing, because the NFL is subsidizing this market to the tune of [$15-20M] a year." Bagley said that the Vikings were "not exploring leaving Minnesota, but continued to draw interest from other cities interested in having a pro football team." Kaszuba notes many legislators have "remained cool toward backing a heavily-remodeled Metrodome that could cost up to $954[M], two-thirds of which the team wants the public to pay for," and team and stadium officials conceded that there "remains scant evidence that public subsidies for a new stadium have gained traction among legislators." The '10 legislative session is "still four months away, and with a state budget deficit and upcoming gubernatorial race likely to dominate its proceedings, Thursday's presentation by the Vikings seemed to stir little emotion." State Rep. Joe Atkins said that he "did not know whether a Vikings stadium would be pushed during the 2010 legislative session." Kaszuba notes a "major remodeling" of the Metrodome "would take up to three years and require the team to temporarily play elsewhere" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/2).

Metrodome Will Be Called Mall Of America
Field At Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
LIVING IN THE MOMENT: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman notes beginning Monday, the Metrodome will be called Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, per a three-year naming rights deal that runs through February 28, 2012. The team also has signed Caribou Coffee and the Minnesota Army National Guard to "sponsor exterior gate signs." But the Vikings have "given orders to all of their executives not to sign any type of contract that expires after the lease does." Vikings CFO and VP/Sales & Marketing Steve LaCroix said, "The Vikings' and the NFL's frustration is growing that our state leaders won't even engage in a dialogue on this issue. (Gov. Tim Pawlenty and state lawmakers) cannot just sweep this issue under the rug." Bagley noted that the Bears, Packers and Lions all "generate more than $30[M] more per year than the Vikings at the Metrodome." The Vikings get "about $20[M] a year in revenue sharing," and Hartman notes without that money, the team "would lose money" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/2). Also in Minneapolis, Scoggins & Zulgad note LaCroix "declined to divulge any of the specifics of the financial figures," but said the agreement with Mall of America has "a variety of different partnership components.'" LaCroix noted that the mall will have "exterior and interior signage at the Metrodome" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/2).

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