Reporter Rochelle Olson updates you on the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Super Bowl Committee talks bid submission, easy fundraising

Posted by: Rochelle Olson under Super Bowl Updated: May 7, 2014 - 10:41 AM

The 2018 Super Bowl bid will be mind-blowing.

That's how US Bancorp Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis described it in a presentation to the media Wednesday morning.

To be exact, he said, "We're going to put together a plan that will blow their mind." Davis was talking about the presentation the crew is giving to the 32 NFL owners in Atlanta in two weeks as well as the Super Bowl week.

He spoke for nearly an hour to reporters along with Ecolab Chief Doug Baker and Carlson Cos. Marilyn Carlson Nelson. The trio represent the co-chairs of the committee aiming to bring the 2018 game to the Twin Cities. The region - along with Indianapolis and New Orleans - is a finalist for the game.

On May 20, the cities make closed-door presentations to the NFL owners at their meetings in Atlanta, then wait outside for the word while the owners vote.

Davis said the corporate response to the bid has been tremendous, that within the first week, 75 percent of the money needed to put on the game was raised and now 85 percent has been raised. The estimated $30-$40 million will be there, he said.

Notably, Davis also said the money will go to cover extra security costs so cities won't be facing big overtime bills for security and traffic control.

Off the top, Davis said he wouldn't reveal "themes or secret weapons" in the bid or the details.  The panel is concerned about the other two cities monitoring the news and gaining an edge.

He asked reporters in the room to "be a visceral competitor for this city."

At the center of the bid, he noted, is the "iconic" new stadium set to open in 2016. He and the others talked about the cutting-edge facility. Davis dismissed the stadium opponents with, "We're going to build a new stadium; get over it."

He and the others repeatedly said the pitch and the week of Super Bowl events are an opportunity to celebrate winter and tell the Minnesota story.

Super Bowl: The Big Reveal on Wednesday

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: May 6, 2014 - 4:57 PM

The Twin Cities' Super Bowl bid goes to all 32 NFL owners on iPads by Wednesday.

Now the co-chairs of the panel making the pitch (pass?) will meet with reporters to talk about what they've turned in. The Twin Cities (plus Bloomington)  are one of three finalists for the 2018 Super Bowl game. New Orleans and Indianapolis also are in the hunt.

A "media availability" is happening at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Minnesota Vikings Board Room in their Preview Center and Sales office. That's the place where the Purple pitches (passes?) season tickets and stadium-builder licenses to fans.

Gov. Mark Dayton appointed the bid committee earlier this year. The chairmen and woman will be available for questioning Wednesday. They are: Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies, Richard Davis of U.S. Bancorp and Doug Baker of Ecolab.

The three have thus far not discussed details of the bid and it's unclear what they might have to say Wednesday.

The NFL owners will hear a formal pitch and vote on May 20 in Atlanta on where to play the game.

The new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium will be almost two years old in time for the 2018 game. The Vikings play their first season at the new place in 2016.

Vikings say stadium-builder licenses selling swiftly, club seats up for grabs

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: May 1, 2014 - 5:52 PM

The Minnesota Vikings say three out of four season ticket-holders contacted have purchased "stadium-builder" licenses to reserve seats in the $1 billion Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium scheduled to open in 2016.

Thus far, the Vikes have only contacted ticket-holders in two of 16 seating zones. Those zones happen to contain the most expensive seats in the new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium.

They're called Field and Valhalla club seats. These club seats have their own exclusive bar and dining areas for the ticket-holders akin to the Champions' Club at Target Field.

Stadium-builder licenses for Club and Valhalla seats sell for a one-time charge of $7,500 and $9,500 per seat. Season tickets are extra.

Vikings' spokesman Jeff Anderson said some seats remain in the Club and Valhalla levels and are now available for purchase by any season ticket-holders seeking to upgrade their view of the field in the new stadium.

(Intrigued buyers can set up an appointment at www.newminnesotastadium.com, then come on down to the team's preview center for a look-see.)

The Vikings owners aim to raise $125 million through the sale of the licenses which team owner Zygi Wilf will use as part of his contribution to the stadium.

In addition, the team reports that more than 75 percent of its season ticket-holders renewed for the 2014 and 2015 seasons at the University of Minnesota's campus stadium.

Also, Anderson said the team has sold 2,000 NEW season tickets at the Gophers' stadium.

"Obviously, what we think we're seeing is a lot of people buying their tickets at the university because they get priority at the new stadium," Anderson said.

Those who buy tikcets for the interim seasons, go to the head of the line for seats in the new stadium.

Anderson said the Vikings project 85 percent of season ticket-holders will keep their seats at the Gophers' stadium. The facility is currently being upgraded to make it hospitable for the winter months of the Vikings' seasons.

The Vikes currently have about 50,000 season ticket-holders. The Gophers' stadium  seats about 52,000 spectators.

The new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium on the site of the former Metrodome will seat 65,400. The seat-builder license sales so far account for 6,500 seats, said Anderson, an Iowa native.

Super Bowl team returns from NYC meeting with NFL

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: April 23, 2014 - 3:50 PM

The crew putting together a bid for the 2018 Super Bowl has returned from a NYC visit with the NFL.

The National Football League's Super Bowl panel has met with all three finalist cities seeking to play host to the game in four years. New Orleans and Indianapolis are the others still in the race.

Minnesota Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen led the contingent that also included reps from Meet Minneapolis (Meet Minneapolis is the name of the convention bureau for "Minneapolis city by nature").

The Minneapolis reps met for about three hours with NFL staff reviewing the bids. The crew now has until May 7 to polish that bid and submit its best, final effort.

The NFL owners gather May 19-20 at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead in Atlanta. On May 20, they will hear presentations from the three cities and vote on where the big game will be played in 2018.

The 32 owners are expected to announce the winner that day.

Kelm-Helgen used the oft-repeated phrase "cautiously optimistic" to describe her thoughts after the NYC NFL meeting. The NFL reps and the Minnesota crew asked each other lots of clarifying questions, she said.

But she said it was impossible to get a read on whether the NFL officials were favoring the city. The NFL staff is not expected to take a position on a city - just the owners.

The city's bid is not public. Kelm-Helgen said it will not be released.

The game would be played in the Minnesota Multi-purpose stadium set to open in time for the 2016 NFL season.

If you check out the construction site, remember: The height of the cranes is on par with the lowest point on the roof of the new stadium.

Bigger is better for Vikings scoreboard

Posted by: Rochelle Olson Updated: April 18, 2014 - 3:48 PM

The Minnesota Vikings will pay $1.2 million to get bigger and better video screens in the Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium.

The video board at the west end of the field was going to be 88 feet by 50 feet. Now the board will be 120 feet by 68 feet. The enlargement will cost the team nearly $600,000. That change nearly doubles the size of the board - from 4,400 square feet to 8,160.

The team also will put "rear projection video walls" into the "Fire and Ice Club" premium spaces. Those will cost $632,000.

The additional money technically increases the cost of the project, but the stadium still comes in at just under $1 billion.

Because the changes involved more than $500,000 the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority was asked to sign off and it did at a regularly scheduled meeting Friday.

The team is portraying the change as an increase in its contribution.

In other news, the Vikings reported having sold 70 percent of its season ticket space in the TCF Bank Stadium for the upcoming season. The Vikings will play at the Gophers' stadium for the next two seasons.

The Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium is expected to open in July 2016 for the Vikings.

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