New $8.7 million pedestrian bridge in the works for Vikings stadium

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2014 - 12:12 AM

Plans for the stadium plaza feature a pedestrian bridge over the light-rail line.


A rendering of the new walkway connecting the new Vikings’ stadium to a downtown plaza.

When the new Vikings stadium opens in 2016, transit officials worry about the proximity of about 65,000 football fans to the light-rail station just outside its front door.

To alleviate congestion and ensure safety, Metro Transit and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing construction of the $1 billion stadium, have proposed a pedestrian bridge spanning Chicago Avenue S.

The $8.7 million walkway would extend from the stadium, stretch over the light-rail tracks and deposit pedestrians on a nearby public plaza, presumably out of harm’s way.

“Even with the Metrodome, people crossing the tracks has been a concern,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Sports Facilities Authority. “Now with the additional transit line, it could be a somewhat dangerous situation, certainly for Vikings games and for the many other big events we’re planning.”

The situation will likely get dicier once Southwest light-rail service begins in 2019, and when the Blue Line (or Bottineau) is extended to Brooklyn Park two years later. More light-rail service means more trains traversing Downtown East — and more people.

As additional lines are developed, Metro Transit expects a train to pass through the intersection of 4th Street and Chicago Avenue an average of every two minutes on Vikings game days.

Last year, about 6,700 Vikings fans, about 10 percent, took light rail to games. The two Vikings games played at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota this season saw 20 percent of attendees taking the new Green Line, which connects the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul and stops at Stadium Village.

Once all four light-rail lines are in service, that figure could jump to 40 percent of game-goers, Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr said.

Metro Transit will issue requests for proposals for the pedestrian bridge by mid-September, with construction beginning as early as summer 2015.

The transit agency will likely devote $6 million from its coffers for the project — a figure that could be offset by federal grants — with the stadium authority pitching in $2 million, and the rest coming from bonds issued by the Met Council, the regional planning agency.

The Sports Facilities Authority purchased the Downtown East plaza from a private developer last year for $17.1 million. The authority’s contribution for the pedestrian bridge will pay for leveling the northwestern portion of the plaza to make way for public use, Kelm-Helgen said.

At one point, when the city owned the plaza and its underground parking lot, there was talk of building a hotel on the site, but further development there is not in the works, she said.

The $400 million Downtown East mixed-use project, now under construction two blocks away, will also bring hundreds of new office workers from Wells Fargo & Co. and apartment dwellers to the area, as well. That project calls for two office towers, apartments, retail and restaurant space, and a nearly two-block public park.

Other stadiums around the country, including Citi Field in New York, M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, and MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., have similar pedestrian bridges.


Janet Moore • 612-673-7752


  • related content

  • 10-year plan calls for private parks to help green up Green Line

    Wednesday August 27, 2014

    It also underscores the widely held belief that downtown Minneapolis could use some additional greening.

  • A bird's-eye view rendering of the plaza.

  • A view of the Minneapolis skyline looking west from the walkway in front of the Vikings stadium.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Washington 0 1st Qtr 12:00
New York 0
Oklahoma City 1:30 PM
San Antonio
Cleveland 4:00 PM
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Golden State 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
DePaul 12:30 PM
Loyola Marymount
Ohio 3:00 PM
Colorado 5:30 PM
George Washington 7:30 PM
Wichita State
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
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
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



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




question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question