SBD/August 3, 2012/Facilities

Soccer Fans Want Input In Vikings Stadium Design; Wilfs To Analyze MLS Bid

Wilfs will analyze the market to decide if new stadium could house an MLS franchise
A "passionate group of soccer fans is quietly lobbying for a voice in the design” of the Vikings' new stadium, according to Richard Meryhew of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The group said that their goal is “to ensure that the facility becomes a premier soccer attraction, worthy of hosting everything from MLS to a World Cup.” Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said, "I look at soccer, for this stadium, like college basketball wound up being for the [Metrodome]. It was not the reason it was built, and it wasn't thought out at the start. But the Final Four and Sweet 16 wound up being huge events for the city. And soccer could be that, too." Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that team Owner Zygi Wilf and his family “will thoroughly analyze the market before deciding whether to bid for an MLS franchise that could cost as much as $40 million.” But he said that the Vikings “are intrigued.” MLS teams are averaging almost 19,000 fans per game this season. Bagley said with 17 home games, plus preseason and playoffs, "that's a lot of people in seats, and that's a lot of revenue for our hospitality community." He noted that with “dozens of major stadium decisions ahead, soccer discussions are on hold." But Bagley said, "That doesn't mean we're not interested." Bagley added that even if the Vikings “don't pursue a MLS team, the stadium will be designed to host international soccer competitions” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/2).

A HELPING HAND: The Vikings have retained Minnesota-based law firm Briggs & Morgan as well as Joe Leccese and N.Y.-based Proskauer Rose to represent the team during the upcoming stadium design and construction process. The team also named Jim Cima as Senior Project Manager. Cima most recently represented the Devils during the design and construction of the Prudential Center (Vikings).
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Facilities, Minnesota Vikings, Soccer

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