Vikings stadium details emerge

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA and R OCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: May 12, 2011 - 6:15 AM

As it became clearer how the Vikings and Ramsey County would allocate obligations, St. Paul Mayor Coleman was loudly quiet.

New details emerged Wednesday in the Minnesota Vikings' plan to build a stadium in Ramsey County that show the Vikings would cover some -- but not all -- of any cost overruns for the project and would get the final say on whether the roof is retractable and would get the lucrative stadium naming rights money.

A 12-page agreement of terms between the Vikings and Ramsey County was released by the county as Minnesotans, including legislative leaders, began to digest the news that the team plans to move from downtown Minneapolis and build a $1 billion, 65,000-seat stadium at the former Arden Hills ammunition plant that could include a retail/entertainment/training complex.

The release came as one of the key players in the unfolding stadium saga -- St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman -- remained silent on the project, even though the proposed half-percent countywide sales tax increase needed to raise $350 million for the stadium would have a major effect on the city. Coleman did not attend Tuesday's press conference announcing the project, and the mayor jetted to Washington, D.C., to attend a "poetry night" at the White House after meeting with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and others.

"Because St. Paul [is] the largest city in the county, I'd expect that you'd certainly want his support," said Sen. John Harrington, DFL-St. Paul, a Senate co-author of the Vikings stadium legislation who supports the Arden Hills plan. He added, "I don't know that it kills it" if Coleman opposes the project.

Said City Council president Kathy Lantry: "I am generally not supportive of spending $300 million at this time for a Vikings facility."

St. Paul has seen its local government aid cut, been forced to reduce library hours and its school system is preparing for a $25 million cut across the district.

Divvying the costs

As Wilf huddled with legislative leaders in a breakfast meeting to push his plan, the agreement provided the first hard look at how the Vikings and the county would divide their responsibilities and costs. The stadium would open by June 2015, and include up to 150 private suites, according to the agreement. The team would have the authority to decide on the stadium's design, development and construction.

Ramsey County would buy 430 acres of the site from the U.S. Army, then sell 170 acres to Wilf.

While the stadium would be publicly owned and be governed by a five-member stadium authority, the Vikings would operate and manage the facility and would own the 170 acres. The Vikings' plans call for ultimately creating a sprawling campus that would house corporate offices, a Main Street-style complex of restaurants, retail and residential areas, a cinema, a Vikings Hall of Fame, training facilities and a "Festival Plaza."

Members of the stadium authority, which could sell personal seat licenses to the stadium, would be appointed by the governor, the county and Arden Hills.

The terms of the agreement spell out a division of costs on any overruns. The Vikings have committed to pay for extra costs in cleaning the contaminated Superfund site and other project costs. But the county would be responsible for overruns "associated with certain on-site and off-site infrastructure improvements, including surface parking and related interior circulation."

If there are savings from the project, the Vikings would get the first $41 million and the county and team would equally share in the next $100 million in savings.

The Vikings, according to the agreement, would sign a 30-year stadium lease, but would not be required to move its corporate headquarters from Eden Prairie's Winter Park to Arden Hills.

Although the team is obligated to commit $407 million to the project, the agreement indicates that Wilf's own contribution could be significantly less than that. The $407 million would come not only from the team, but also the National Football League, the sale of private seat licenses and "other private revenues generated by the project."

But details remained sketchy on Wednesday, with Ramsey County Finance Director Lee Mehrkens saying he might not have a breakout on tax numbers for "a week or two." The state Revenue Department must still prepare a formal report with Ramsey County sales tax estimates, which must then be reviewed by financial advisers and presented to the County Board.

The county has stipulated that it will not be responsible for ongoing stadium upkeep, although it would have to pay $1.5 million annually for operating expenses for non-football events and to offset the cost of operating a retractable roof. That payment could go up with inflation.

All stadium-generated revenue would go to the team, including from parking facilities, signs and naming rights. The team would pay for all municipal services such as security, traffic control and fire prevention.

But the plan makes clear: The state pays for the roads. The memo says road and infrastructure improvements traditionally have been an obligation of the state.

No voter referendum

Addressing an issue that is likely to heighten emotions, the agreement would not require Ramsey County to hold a voter referendum before imposing a sales tax increase -- a move that would require legislative approval. No public funds for the project would be raised until a labor agreement is reached between the National Football League and its players.

With the Legislature scheduled to adjourn in 11 days, legislative reaction to the proposal continued to be mixed, amid signs that the team and the county were working behind closed doors to build support. The Arden Hills site relies on a $300 million contribution from the state.

Rep. Michael Beard, the Republican chair of the House transportation panel, said one option might be to send "some signals" to the Vikings this year that legislators support the project, and leave the details until later.

"We have time to get [the details] teed up next year yet," he said.

Road upgrades for the project continue to be the biggest obstacle. Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the chief House author of the Vikings stadium plan, said he agreed with Gov. Mark Dayton that the state's commitment should not rise above $300 million and that any state road improvements would need to be subtracted from that amount.

But Lanning, who said he met Wednesday with Wilf to reiterate the point, said that the roadwork estimates should only be for building a stadium -- not any future development that might surround it.

State officials said building a stadium would require $175 million in roadwork, and that building a stadium and any accompanying development would require $240 million.

"To me," Lanning said, "the future development is a future issue."

Mike Kaszuba • 651-222-1673

  • related content

  • Vikes and Arden Hills: There is a there there

    Wednesday May 11, 2011

    Zygi Wilf, Minnesota Vikings owner, attended Tuesday's news conference to herald the team's deal to build a new stadium in Arden Hills.

  • Odd couple team up to land Vikings for underdog

    Thursday May 12, 2011

    When the Minnesota Vikings set out looking for bipartisan support to build a stadium, they probably didn't know they would find staunch allies in the guise of East Side Tony...

  • Hartman: Wilf is going all-out on Arden Hills plan

    Thursday May 12, 2011

    The Vikings owner clearly favors the Ramsey County proposal to any stadium site in downtown Minneapolis.

  • Video: Is Arden Hills the best location?

    Wednesday May 11, 2011

    Vikings fans and public officials weigh in on whether Arden Hills is the best location for a Vikings stadium.

  • Artist rendering of the proposed Vikings stadium in Arden Hills.

  • Arden Hills

  • Zygi Wilf

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 35 FINAL
Miami 37
Baltimore 13 FINAL
Houston 25
Detroit 20 FINAL
Chicago 14
Cleveland 13 FINAL
Carolina 17
Atlanta 30 FINAL
New Orleans 14
Green Bay 20 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 12 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
New England 17 FINAL
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 37 FINAL
St. Louis 27
Buffalo 24 FINAL
Oakland 26
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Dallas 42
Seattle 35 FINAL
Arizona 6
Denver 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 108 FINAL
Toronto 118
Memphis 91 FINAL
Cleveland 105
Boston 84 FINAL
Miami 100
Detroit 105 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
LA Lakers 101 FINAL
Sacramento 108
Philadelphia 96 FINAL
Orlando 88
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Washington 92
Indiana 100 FINAL
Minnesota 96
New Orleans 101 FINAL
Oklahoma City 99
Colorado 2 FINAL(SO)
Detroit 1
Dallas 6 FINAL(SO)
Edmonton 5
Buffalo 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 4
Carolina 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 1
Toronto 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Philadelphia 4 FINAL(OT)
Winnipeg 3
Harvard 27 FINAL
Virginia 76
Maine 69 FINAL
Army 72
Ferris State 82 FINAL
Bowling Green 68
San Francisco 65 FINAL
Cleveland State 69
Oregon State 52 FINAL
Quinnipiac 60
Coastal Carolina 72 FINAL
Central Arkansas 55
Holy Cross 48 FINAL
Canisius 67
Southern Miss 55 FINAL
Georgia State 68
Western Carolina 66 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 62
Creighton 58 FINAL
North Texas 62
Maryland 73 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
Cornell 61 FINAL
Radford 74
Vermont 55 FINAL
Saint Louis 58
Loyola-Maryland 52 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Reinhardt 72 FINAL
Winthrop 100
Ark-Little Rock 46 FINAL
Green Bay 66
TX-Pan American 72 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 77
Alabama State 63 FINAL
Evansville 81
FIU 69 FINAL
Hartford 82
Goshen 55 FINAL
Valparaiso 82
Bryant 48 FINAL
Denver 46
Austin Peay 63 FINAL
Lipscomb 69
Tennessee St 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 65
South Dakota 67 FINAL
Montana 62
ULM 50 FINAL
Samford 64
Coker 52 FINAL
South Carolina 78
USC 75 FINAL
Boston College 71
Northern Ariz 66 FINAL
Hampton 75
SD Christian 61 FINAL
San Diego 71
UC Irvine 55 FINAL
Bradley 47
Troy 65 FINAL
Nicholls 64
Seton Hall 47 FINAL
Georgia 65
Appalachian St 59 FINAL
Alabama 60
North Dakota St 52 FINAL
Kent State 53
San Jose St 53 FINAL
Washington St 82
Alcorn State 45 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 78
Sacramento St 47 FINAL
Seattle 66
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
SMU 43 FINAL
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 84
Fairleigh Dickinson 74 FINAL
Brown 79
Buffalo 73 FINAL
Long Island 79
Bucknell 74 FINAL
Mount St Marys 49
Stony Brook 70 FINAL
Wagner 76
FIU 83 FINAL
Wofford 75
Duquesne 56 FINAL
Providence 67
Maine 54 FINAL
William & Mary 51
Alabama State 43 FINAL
Samford 56
TX-Pan American 43 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 64
South Dakota St 64 FINAL
Marist 82
Saint Josephs 50 FINAL
(5) Notre Dame 64
Radford 60 FINAL
Virginia Tech 73
(3) Texas 67 FINAL
(4) Texas A&M 65
Rhode Island 60 FINAL
Bryant 56
South Florida 90 FINAL
Penn State 87
Sam Houston St 55 FINAL
TCU 79
Evansville 50 FINAL
IUPUI 62
(14) Maryland 110 FINAL
Coppin State 51
Mercer 59 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 72
NC A&T 43 FINAL
Chattanooga 58
Princeton 84 FINAL
Monmouth 53
Eastern Illinois 69 FINAL
Lehigh 72
Rider 67 FINAL
Binghamton 72
SC State 57 FINAL
Clemson 66
Fairfield 63 FINAL
Iowa State 76
Richmond 70 FINAL
Eastern Kentucky 56
Cleveland State 80 FINAL
Morehead St 72
Kent State 62 FINAL
Colgate 61
South Alabama 43 FINAL
UAB 73
Saint Peters 35 FINAL
Navy 71
Youngstown St 52 FINAL
Pittsburgh 78
NJIT 50 FINAL
Lafayette 66
Davidson 51 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Indiana State 73 FINAL
St Johns 67
Southern U 49 FINAL
Florida 78
Wright State 46 FINAL
Purdue 70
(19) Oklahoma St 66 FINAL
USC 62
Houston 54 FINAL
Texas Tech 60
Ark-Little Rock 66 FINAL
Tulsa 59
Dayton 71 FINAL
Vanderbilt 67
Northern Ariz 37 FINAL
New Mexico 56
UNC-Asheville 60 FINAL
USC Upstate 67
North Dakota 81 FINAL
South Dakota 86
Western Ill 57 FINAL
Marquette 65
Elon 67 FINAL
(6) North Carolina 85
Ball State 59 FINAL
Western Ky 84
(8) Kentucky 68 FINAL
(13) Duke 89
New Orleans 58 FINAL
Alabama 87
Chicago State 47 FINAL
Milwaukee 69
Bowling Green 61 FINAL
Bradley 47
Ill-Springfield 56 FINAL
SE Missouri St 73
Northern Ill 42 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
(23) Iowa 100 FINAL
Drake 98
Central Michigan 64 FINAL
Minnesota 67
Western Carolina 45 FINAL
North Florida 62
Wyoming 71 FINAL
Colorado 76
Portland 58 FINAL
Boise State 94
Cal Poly 63 FINAL
Colorado State 65
No Dakota State 54 FINAL
Grand Canyon 69
Albany 71 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 49
Oklahoma 64 FINAL
Arkansas 71
Idaho State 63 FINAL
Seattle 55
(18) Michigan State 89 FINAL
(19) Syracuse 76
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Arizona State 88
TX-Arlington 46 FINAL
North Texas 38
Fresno State 68 FINAL
Oregon 59
St Francis-PA 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 72
UNLV 71 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 74
UCLA 50 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 86
(10) Louisville 70 FINAL
(24) California 57
Howard 53 FINAL
Virginia 74
Miami-Ohio 42 FINAL
(21) Miss State 68
Illinois-Chicago 55 FINAL
Old Dominion 61
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close