The Minnesota Vikings said Tuesday that building a new stadium at the Metrodome, when including the costs of playing three seasons at the University of Minnesota during construction, would add $67 million to the project’s cost.
In a letter to Minneapolis city officials, Vikings president Mark Wilf said that any price tag for building a new stadium at the team’s longtime Metrodome home in downtown Minneapolis needs to include the costs of playing elsewhere for three seasons.City officials, who prefer a new stadium at the Metrodome location, have estimated the price tag at $895 million.
But Wilf said that the university’s TCF Bank Stadium’s “limitations” would cost the team $12.3 million in revenue annually. He also said TCF Bank Stadium needs an estimated $11 million in upgrades to host National Football League games, and added that another $19 million is needed to acquire and build additional parking.
“The $67 million in costs identified above brings the total costs to build at the Metrodome site to $962 million,” wrote Wilf. The team, he added, was also concerned “about the significant disruptions to our football team, our fans and our sponsors and partners.”
John Stiles, a spokesman for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, said Tuesday that the city understood the team's concerns. "They've raised legitimate concerns and we're taking them into consideration," said Stiles.
While the Vikings said they remain committed to a new $1.1 billion stadium in Ramsey County’s Arden Hills, the team has been exploring three sites in Minneapolis – the Metrodome, a site near the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field and a third near the Basilica of St. Mary.
Gov. Mark Dayton, trying to jumpstart stadium negotiations, has asked both Ramsey County and Minneapolis to submit their final stadium proposals by Thursday. The Legislature, which is expected to consider a stadium public subsidy request, convenes Jan. 24.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.