Vikings ceremonially break ground on new stadium

The 2½-year mission to build a $1 billion new home for the Minnesota Vikings ceremonially kicked off Tuesday morning with a long-awaited groundbreaking outside the Metrodome.

 

And so it has begun.

The 2½-year mission to build a $1 billion new home for the Minnesota Vikings ceremonially kicked off Tuesday morning with a long-awaited groundbreaking outside the Metrodome.

Two longtime project boosters — Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak — were among the speakers at the under-the-tent event outside the doomed Dome.

Team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf also attended, along with executives for HKS Inc., the stadium architect, and Mortenson Construction, the stadium builder, and star running back Adrian Peterson.

“What a day,” Zygi Wilf said to the gathering. “It was always our intention to bring a championship and a stadium” to Minnesota, he said. “We are embarking on our way to both.”

Wilf said the new stadium will “provide a tremendous game-day experience. … The fan experience has driven” the design of the stadium from the start, Wilf said.

Mark Wilf followed his brother to the podium and said the team will soon have “a great shot” at hosting a Super Bowl in the Vikings’ new home.

Dayton stepped up and declared this “truly a historic day for the state of Minnesota.”

The governor said he feels a bit like Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, likening the challenges in getting the project off the ground to Sunday’s improbable victory over the Chicago Bears. “I can’t believe it’s over, and I can’t believe we won,” Dayton said, eliciting robust laughter from Frazier and others.

Dayton saluted the members of the Minneapolis City Council who, he said, put their political careers on the line and voted for the stadium.

“It’s easy to demagogue against a project like this. But demagoguery doesn’t put people to work,” Dayton said.

Rybak said the new stadium will be “woven into the urban fabric” of the city, from downtown to the riverfront to the University of Minnesota.

Referring to Vikings fans who had spent time at the State Capitol lobbying for the stadium financing bill, Rybak said: “Democracy sometimes includes painting your face [Vikings colors] and wearing horns.”

About 100 free tickets were available to fans hoping to witness the ceremonial first scoops of dirt on the southwest corner of the Dome’s back parking lot.

Construction crews will begin foundation work for the new stadium on the Dome’s back parking lot this month. The Dome roof will be deflated in mid-January, with demolition work to follow several weeks later. The Vikings game against the Detroit Lions on Dec. 29 is the Dome’s last event.

While the new stadium is going up, the Vikings will play the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the University of Minnesota football team. The 65,000-seat stadium that will replace the Metrodome is expected to be completed by the 2016 NFL season.

Peterson stepped before Tuesday’s gathering, received a standing ovation and said he and his teammates are excited about the new stadium, but “one thing I’m not looking forward to is playing outside for two years.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
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 NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close