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Continued: Park officials punt 'the Yard' back to city

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Last update: August 22, 2014 - 10:09 AM

Park officials estimate it will cost $6 million to build the bare-bones park and up to $20 million once amenities are added.

The park staff analysis raised concerns that anticipated housing near the park would draw complaints about loud events, creating tension in the neighborhood.

The Vikings and the authority already are guaranteed to be able use the park up to 80 days a year, under the agreement. Park officials estimate they could rent only on 82 of the 214 days, including four weekends, during the prime period of April 1 to Oct. 31, with priority given to the Vikings, a potential major league soccer franchise and the stadium authority. The rental projection assumes that the park will be rented for all four weekends and one-quarter of available weekdays.

The analysis said that with priority given to football, organizers of other events seeking to rent the space would have to wait for the May release of the league schedule to book an event between August and December. That is far less time than organizers of large-scale events such as festivals and races typically need for locking in their sites.

The cost of maintaining a basic park — mowing, hauling trash and cleaning bathrooms — comes to $419,424 a year, the analysis found. But park officials say the costs for operating the park would easily push $500,000, and a more complex park could cost $2 million to $3 million a year just to maintain.

Confronted by such numbers, commissioners said they were walking away from a park deal that they had no hand in negotiating. The alternative, said Commissioner Steffanie Musich, was a “burdensome and untenable agreement they have made on our behalf.”

steve.brandt@startribune.com • 612-673-4438

Twitter: @brandtstrib

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