Finally, it's official.
After more than a year of negotiations, the Minnesota Vikings and University of Minnesota have signed off on an agreement that will allow the NFL team to play two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium while its new home is being built in downtown Minneapolis.
The deal, approved by a University committee earlier this week, was unanimously approved by the U's Board of Regents Friday.
Under terms of the deal, the Vikings would play at the on-campus stadium, which is home to the Minnesota Gopher football team, during the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons. They'd pay the school $300,000 per game, cover gameday costs and foot the bill for any upgrades to the stadium to make it ready for NFL competition.
The agreement also has a provision that would allow the Vikings to play at TCF Bank beyond 2015 if their new stadium, scheduled to be ready for the 2016 NFL season, doesn't open on time. Groundbreaking on that stadium is tentatively set for October.
As part of the deal with the University, the team also has pledged to be "good neighbors," committing $90,000 plus $35,000 in in kind services to a neighborhood fund each season. New regent Peggy Lucas said before Friday's vote that she was "especially pleased' about that piece of the agreement.
The regents also approved a resolution that would allow beer and wine sales throughout the stadium during Vikings games and hard liquor only in premium seats. Regent Dean Johnson praised the U's negotiators for not agreeing to sell hard liquor in the general seating.
"I know there was pressure from the Vikings to have a broader sale of alcohol," he said. But, this is "a good compromise."
Staff Writer Jenna Ross contributed to this post.