Vikings Reportedly Reach Tentative Agreement With City, State For New Stadium
The city of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota and the Vikings have "reached a tentative agreement on a new, $975 million stadium on a site at or near the Metrodome and on how to divide the costs," according to sources cited by Olson & Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Under the preliminary deal, the city would contribute $150M in construction costs to the downtown Minneapolis project, the state would add $398M, while the Vikings would pay $427M. Sources said that the city also would pay approximately $180M in operating costs "over the next 30 years." Sources added that some details remain, such as "who is responsible for cost overruns, but said a formal announcement is anticipated" this week. The preliminary agreement would commit the state to nearly $60M "more than previous estimates for a new stadium at the Metrodome, and would have the Vikings pledge roughly the same amount the team had agreed to pay as part of a former stadium plan in Ramsey County's Arden Hills." Any agreement would be "just the first step in the stadium process: The package would need to pass the Legislature and likely the Minneapolis City Council -- neither of which is assured." The NFL also would "have to approve any stadium deal." Vikings VP/Stadium Operations & Public Affairs Lester Bagley "declined to comment Friday on the numbers, but said 'there is no agreement.'" He added, "Everything is subject to negotiations. We're working hard on an agreement, but we're not there yet" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/18).
DRAWING OTHER EVENTS: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes a new covered stadium would "allow this area to compete for many national events." Look at the "success they have had at new domed stadiums in Dallas, Indianapolis and Houston, as well as the events that have been held at Atlanta, St. Louis and the remodeled Superdome in New Orleans." Since the '06 Final Four at the "now-demolished RCA Dome in Indianapolis, every Final Four has been held or will be held at a building built in the past 20 years, with the exception of this year's event at the Superdome." After this year, the following three Final Fours "are at NFL stadiums that opened in the past 10 years" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/20).