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Vikings: Preliminary deal would add 3,000 seats to U stadium

Posted by: under Funding, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, State budgets Updated: February 20, 2012 - 8:06 PM


The Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota have an agreement in principle on how much the university would be paid should the team play at the school while a new Vikings stadium is built, a top Vikings official said late Monday.

While declining to say how much the Vikings would pay the university per game, team spokesman Lester Bagley said the  tentative agreement would add roughly 3,000 temporary end zone seats to the university's 50,000-seat stadium. By doing so, he said, the stadium could accommodate the approximate 53,000 season ticket holders the Vikings have.

“We have close to 53,000 season-ticket owners, so we’re trying to at least get to that,” said Bagley, the team’s vice president for stadium development and public affairs. “There’s some temporary seating that would be included in the agreement."

Of the overall agreement between the team and school, Bagley said: “I’d say there’s an agreement in principle there, but formal sign off is yet to occur between the Vikings and the university.”

The Vikings would play at least some home games at the university’s on-campus TCF Bank Stadium should a new stadium be built at or adjacent to the downtown Minneapolis Metrodome, where the Vikings have played for the past three decades. While negotiators have said for the past week that an agreement between the state, city and team for a new Vikings stadium is close, no formal announcement has occurred.

Because it is unclear how many games or seasons the team would play at TCF Bank Stadium, Bagley said the school and team had reached a tentative agreement on the cost per game for the Vikings to play at the university. “Rather than negotiate a season, there may be a [way] to break it into individual games. So we’ve done that,” he said.

When a snowstorm caused the Metrodome’s inflatable roof to collapse in December 2010, the team played a regular season game at TCF Bank Stadium. The team paid $1.7 million to the school to play the game at the university.



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