The Metropolitan Council on Wednesday approved a $7 million pedestrian bridge near the new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
The new plan is more expensive than a previous one priced at $6 million, but it includes the Vikings paying for half of the construction cost, up to $3.5 million.
The bridge will be wider than originally planned and have a second elevator bank. It will span the light-rail tracks at the busy Downtown East transit station, a key nexus of the Green and Blue lines near Chicago Avenue and S. 4th Street.
The first version of the plan involved the regional planning body footing the entire bill. Several Met Council members questioned why the team was not contributing to the cost of the project, so more negotiations took place.
The new agreement with the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), which is overseeing construction of the $1.1 billion stadium, calls for the Vikings to receive 50 percent of revenue generated from advertising on the light-rail station platform. This is estimated to be about $200,000 a year.
In addition, the Met Council will receive $300,000 per year in promotional support from the Vikings and the MSFA in exchange for station naming rights.
The stadium and the station likely would have the same name, just like Target Field and Target Station, said Brian Lamb, Metro Transit general manager. Last month, the Vikings reached a $220 million deal with U.S. Bank for stadium naming rights.
Not everyone was happy with the new arrangement. Met Council Member Gail Dorfman said she opposed the previous deal, "because I didn't think we needed a huge investment in the bridge that would be used a few times a year and the Vikings didn't have much skin in the game." She said the new deal is better, but she still voted against it, along with Council Member Jennifer Munt.
Janet Moore • 612-673-7752