Hartman: Vikings reach deal with U to use TCF Bank Stadium

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 8, 2013 - 10:15 PM

While the Vikings’ new stadium is being built, the team will play in TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and 2015.

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The University of Minnesota and the Vikings will announce Thursday that they have agreed to terms on a facility use agreement that allows the Vikings to use TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons while their new stadium is being built on the old Metrodome site.

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press file

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The University of Minnesota and the Vikings will announce Thursday that they have agreed to terms on a facility use agreement that allows the Vikings to use TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons while their new stadium is being built on the old Metrodome site.

The agreement is subject to a vote by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents on Thursday.

Within the agreement are stipulations that the Vikings will reimburse the university for any required TCF Bank Stadium capital improvements, as well as all gameday operational expenses for Vikings home games.

In addition, the Vikings will pay the university a per-game rent of $250,000 for the 2014 and 2015 season. The team will also share $50,000 per game in concessions, advertising and sponsorship revenue. In total, the Vikings will pay the university $300,000 per game and a maximum of $3 million per season.

However the $3 million doesn’t include any extra costs the Viking might incur to winterize the stadium, such as installing a heated field at a cost of approximately $2 million, and adding temporary seating in the open end of the stadium.

There also could be additional costs to the Vikings to make concession stands more easily available to fans.

Mauer’s ups, downs

Through his first 14 games this season, Twins catcher Joe Mauer was hitting .393 with a .439 on-base percentage after going 24-for-61 at the plate with five walks. Mauer had two home runs, five doubles, 10 runs scored and seven RBI, and was one of the hottest hitters in the league.

But over the next 11 games, Mauer went only 5-for-42, a .119 average, with six walks. He didn’t have a single extra-base hit in that stretch while scoring two runs and driving in one run.

But now Mauer appears to have picked things back up, going 8-for-16 in the past four games to post a .500 batting average with six doubles, two RBI and three runs scored. Mauer was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs scored in the Twins’ 15-8 victory at Boston on Wednesday night.

Wild the underdog

Brian Lawton, the former North Stars player and Tampa Bay general manager, said he believes the Wild will have to get more out of its top line if it is to avoid elimination from the playoffs in Game 5 on Thursday night in Chicago.

“They’ll have to get their top scorers scoring,” Lawton said. “That has been the biggest difference. They’re obviously struggling to score goals on the five-on-five and on the power play.

“I think it’ll be a surprise if they win the series. They could win [Thursday] night, but are they going to win the series? So far I think they’ve been outscored [12-6] in the four games, I’m not sure, but by a lot. Most of these series there’s a goal or two difference, that’s how you know if it really truly is close. When you get outscored that much, it’s really not that close.”

Maturi almost done

For the past year, former Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi remained a member of the university, assisting with course development and teaching classes in the College of Education and Human Development Department of Kinesiology and helping the university with fundraising.

He also worked on special projects assigned by university President Eric Kaler.

However, all his duties except for teaching will come to close with the ending of the current semester on May 17.

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