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

Chicago WSox - LP: J. Guerra 2 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 3
Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 6
Miami - LP: B. Hand 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 9
Washington - WP: T. Roark 10 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3
Toronto - LP: R. Dickey 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price 3
St. Louis - LP: C. Martinez 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 11
Boston - WP: C. Buchholz 11 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 0
Detroit - LP: J. Verlander 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 5
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 10 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 7
LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs 10 FINAL
Texas - LP: S. Baker 7
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 4 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 0 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Anderson 5
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1
NY Yankees - C. Whitley 7:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Portland 9:00 PM
Seattle
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 34 FINAL
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 26 FINAL
Saskatchewan 13
Los Angeles 90 FINAL
Connecticut 64
Seattle 60 FINAL
Minnesota 77
San Antonio 45 4th Qtr 7:57
Phoenix 72
Chicago 49 3rd Qtr 4:05
Atlanta 55
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 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
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: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close