Vikings, Fans Make Push For Extra Tailgating Spots In Time For New Minneapolis Stadium
Concerns are "growing over a rapidly dwindling supply of prime tailgating spots" around the Vikings' new downtown Minneapolis stadium, and the team has asked city officials to "consider expanding the area for pre- and postgame festivities," according to a front-page piece by Richard Meryhew of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The request "comes in response to feedback from some disgruntled season-ticket holders over a $400 million office, retail and housing development near the stadium that will gobble up more than 800 premium tailgating spaces." Vikings officials surveyed "nearly 22,000 single-game or season-ticket holders on the issue this spring." Nearly two-thirds of the "roughly 3,000 fans who responded said it was 'very important' to be able to pull out the coolers and the grills and continue the tailgating tradition at the new stadium." However, more than half said that they "wanted to be within walking distance of the stadium and preferred not to park and tailgate at lots farther away or use a shuttle service to get to and from the game." Based on the survey, the Vikings "estimate that about 840 fans host weekly tailgating parties, with an average of 10 guests per vehicle or space." Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Agency Deputy Dir Chuck Lutz said that the city and Vikings "will explore the possibility of using other surface parking lots close to the Metrodome for tailgating." Other options discussed at Thursday’s committee meeting "included blocking off some downtown streets on gamedays to allow for tailgating" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/26). Meanwhile, the Vikings' stadium development "inched forward Thursday" when the Stadium Implementation Committee "formally approved the project’s design" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/26).