It looks like the new $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium already paid off for the team’s owners, the Wilf family.
According to Forbes magazine’s annual NFL tally, the value of the Vikings franchise is now $2.2 billion, up $600 million, or 38 percent, from last year. That’s almost four times as much as the $600 million the owners, led by Zygi Wilf reportedly paid for the team in 2005.
The Wilfs bought the team in 2005. The value started climbing in 2012 when the team reached a deal to build the new $1.1 billion stadium with help from Minnesota taxpayers.
Tax funds covered $498 million of the cost of the building, which replaced the Metrodome. The Wilfs’ portion of the bill ended up at $600 million, although they were able to recoup much of that.
The Vikings received $200 million from the NFL to help build the stadium.
The Vikings receive the advertising and naming-rights revenue throughout the building. From the Pentair and Medtronic gates to the Hyundai Club, the branding is evident. The biggest booty: the undisclosed amount U.S. Bank paid to have its name on the building’s roof. The two-decade deal has been reported to be north of $200 million, but the team has declined to confirm an amount.
Fans also helped. To buy season tickets in the new stadium, Vikings fans first had to purchase a one-time stadium-builder license ranging in price from $500 to $9,500 per ticket. The Wilfs expected to raise more than $100 million through those sales for 50,000 seats.
The team declined to comment on Forbes’ assessment, but the Wilf family members, New Jersey real estate developers, appear to have seen a healthy 12 percent annual growth in the franchise since the purchase.
Among the 32 NFL teams, the Vikings are ranked 17th in value. The Dallas Cowboys are No. 1 at $4.2 billion. The Chicago Bears are No. 8 at $2.7 billion. The Green Bay Packers are No. 13 at $2.3 billion. The Detroit Lions are No. 31 at $1.6 billion and the Buffalo Bills are last at $1.5 billion.
In a separate story, Forbes also called the Vikings’ new home a “game-changing stadium.”
The final tally on what the building will seat for Vikings games: 66,655, up from the previously estimated 66,200. Forbes said the average ticket price is $85. The place is sold out for the season.
The stadium officially opens for the NFL season on Sunday as the Vikings play host to the Green Bay Packers in a nationally televised game beginning at 7:30 p.m.