Vikings push to add tailgating options in time for new stadium

  • Article by: RICHARD MERYHEW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 26, 2013 - 8:11 AM

With some prime tailgating lots near the new stadium targeted for development, the NFL team is working to fill the void and preserve a gameday tradition.

hide

Vikings tailgaters set up camp in lots near the armory in downtown Minneapolis.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Tailgaters, take heart: The Minnesota Vikings have your back.

With concerns growing over a rapidly dwindling supply of prime tailgating spots around their new downtown Minneapolis stadium for the 10,000 or so gameday tailgaters, the team has asked city officials to consider expanding the area for pre- and postgame festivities.

The request, made at a meeting Thursday of the city’s Stadium Implementation Committee, comes in response to feedback from some disgruntled season-ticket holders over a $400 million office, retail and housing development near the stadium that will gobble up more than 800 premium tailgating spaces.

“It’s a hot-button issue with our fans,” said Lester Bagley, the Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development.

Vikings officials surveyed nearly 22,000 single-game or season-ticket holders on the issue this spring. Nearly two-thirds of the roughly 3,000 fans who responded said it was “very important” to be able to pull out the coolers and the grills and continue the tailgating tradition at the new stadium.

More than half, however, said they wanted to be within walking distance of the stadium and preferred not to park and tailgate at lots farther away or use a shuttle service to get to and from the game.

Nearly three out of four ticket holders who responded said they would share or consider sharing tailgating space at a nearby park or plaza.

Based on the survey, the Vikings estimate that about 840 fans host weekly tailgating parties, with an average of 10 guests per vehicle or space. The total number of tailgaters may, however, be closer to 10,000, team officials said.

For many, Bagley said, “it’s about being in the vicinity of the stadium, to put down their beverage and walk to the game so they can pull into their seat when the game is about to tee off.”

Groundbreaking on the stadium, to be built on the Metrodome site, is scheduled for later this fall.

The team expects the building to be open in time for the 2016 NFL season.

Stadium construction will coincide with an ambitious plan by Ryan Cos. to redevelop five nearby blocks now owned by the Star Tribune for the office, retail and housing project, as well as a 9-acre public park.

Three of the blocks currently are prime tailgating lots, providing more than 800 parking spaces.

“The Ryan project is a huge benefit to the city, but it also puts some pressure on the tailgating experience,” Bagley said.

Chuck Lutz, Minneapolis’ deputy development director, said Thursday that he and Mayor R.T. Rybak met with the Vikings earlier this month to discuss ways to compensate for the loss of the tailgating spots and preserve the pre- and postgame tradition.

A second meeting is planned for next week.

Lutz said the city and the Vikings will explore the possibility of using other surface parking lots close to the Metrodome for tailgating. The team is looking to double the size of the current tailgating area, possibly extending it south to S. 10th Street and east to Interstate 35W.

  • related content

  • Vikings stadium section: The game plan

    Friday May 10, 2013

  • Mpls. city committee has lots of ideas for Vikings stadium

    Friday July 26, 2013

    Recommendations include protecting birds and encouraging bikes.

  • Frazier welcomes Vikings to training camp

    Friday July 26, 2013

    Leslie Frazier wants his players’ commitment from the get-go. Report day was Thursday. Camp officially starts Friday morning.

  • Vikings notes: All draft picks are signed

    Friday July 26, 2013

    Long before the 4 p.m. deadline to report for training camp, the Vikings signed defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in rapid-fire succession.

  • Tom Balk lets loose at a Vikings tailgate party.

  • Steve Loos, Ryan Wagner and Mike Felien (all sitting left to right), buddies from Brooklyn Park, share a few beers around the fire in a parking lot along Washington Ave. Sunday morning before a Vikings game.

  • Paul Thielman (left) shared a toast with friends as they tailgated.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston 1 Bottom 6th Inning
Cleveland 1
San Francisco 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Washington 2
St. Louis 4 Bottom 5th Inning
Philadelphia 5
Chicago WSox 3 Bottom 5th Inning
NY Yankees 3
Tampa Bay 7 Bottom 6th Inning
Toronto 0
Atlanta 1 Top 6th Inning
Cincinnati 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Boston 0
Kansas City 3 Bottom 3rd Inning
Texas 1
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 2nd Inning
Milwaukee 2
Detroit 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Minnesota 6
Miami 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Colorado 0
San Diego - O. Despaigne 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
LA Angels - H. Santiago 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
NY Mets - J. Niese 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Carolina 0 2nd Qtr 0:08
New England 10
NY Giants 0 2nd Qtr 2:59
NY Jets 10
Jacksonville 3 2nd Qtr 0:49
Detroit 7
Oakland 7 2nd Qtr 14:15
Green Bay 8
Chicago 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 8:00 PM
FC Dallas
Montreal 0 8:05
Winnipeg 0
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 46 3rd Qtr 4:40
Atlanta 46
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close