Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings new stadium: Details galore

Posted by: under Vikings Updated: March 1, 2012 - 1:03 PM

With news surfacing Thursday morning that the Vikings are on the verge of a deal that will give them a new downtown stadium, the excitement across the state seems palpable. Yes, approval from the Minneapolis city council and the state legislature is needed before the shovels can be broken out and construction can begin. But after a grueling political wrestling match, the Vikings’ new stadium hopes are further along than they’ve ever been.

The new stadium would ideally be set to open in 2016 on basically the same footprint that the Metrodome currently occupies. The Vikings would likely remain playing at Mall of America Field for the next three seasons then spend the 2015 campaign at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Sifting through all the details of the new stadium proposal can be overwhelming. But hopefully we can steer you in the right direction with our full-team coverage. After today’s press conference at the state capitol, here are some helpful shortcuts to understanding more about the stadium logistics.

This morning, Vikings co owner-and team president Mark Wilf also visited with Paul Allen on KFAN expressing his glee for what he’s calling “a big milestone for us.”
 
Wilf revealed several additional details about the stadium, noting it will measure close to 1.6 million square feet. (Mall of America Field, it’s worth noting, currently occupies approximately 900,000 square feet.)
 
Wilf said the new stadium will have a seating capacity near 65,000. Yet what has Vikings ownership even more excited is the proposed development of the land around the new stadium, allowing for much larger tailgating areas and developed plazas. The Vikings also plan to have a Hall of Fame with additional restaurants likely in the area.
 
Said Wilf: “It’s going to make the game experience totally different than what they have now.”
 
The new stadium, proponents says, should aid in the economic development of the downtown area while also creating upwards of 13,000 jobs during the construction process. And yes, the new stadium would also be a potential site for future Super Bowls and Final Fours, as the Metrodome once was.
 
“Sports is such an important quality of life [element],” Wilf said. “And of course the Vikings and Minnesota go hand in hand. And we just feel this community needs to have a facility that everyone can be proud of and say that it’s a first class and world class. And that’s what we’re going to work toward.”

Of course, none of this will be a done deal until the Minneapolis city council and the state legislature grant approval. So it will be interesting to see just how much significan backlash may surface.

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