The Metropolitan Council will consider a new deal to build a $6 million pedestrian bridge near the new Vikings stadium that calls for the team to pay half the cost of the structure.
Under terms of the agreement, the Vikings will pay up to $3.5 million for the bridge near the Downtown East light-rail station, but any costs above $7 million will be the responsibility of the regional planning body. The Met Council will vote on the retooled agreement on Wednesday.
A previous deal called for the Met Council to pay for the entire cost of the bridge, but several members balked, saying the team should pay for the entire project, or at least a part of it.
At a May 27 meeting, the council authorized its staff to continue negotiating with the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), which is overseeing construction of the $1 billion stadium.
The bridge would span the light-rail tracks at the busy Downtown East transit station, a key connection for the Green and Blue lines near S. 4th Street and Chicago Avenue. The structure would be used not only during Vikings games, but at other events held at the new stadium.
In documents released late Thursday by the Met Council, the new agreement also indicates the Vikings will receive 50 percent of all revenue generated from advertising at the Downtown East station platform for 30 years, beginning Aug. 1, 2016. The documents don’t specify how that revenue would be quantified and tallied, however.
The pedestrian bridge will be 30 feet wide and include a second elevator bank, with the team ponying up for any additional design costs associated with the structure’s width. The current design contract, with Eden Prairie-based EVS Inc., is set at $496,281, although the deal stipulates that the total design contract will not exceed $675,000.
The Met Council will be responsible for operation and maintenance costs of the bridge.
The bridge will provide “safe post-event pedestrian movements and light-rail service” at stadium events, the Met Council has said. Beyond the 10 annual Vikings games, the stadium will likely host more than 300 events a year.
Blocks near the stadium and the Downtown East station are being developed into a mixed-use office-retail-residential complex by the Minneapolis-based firm Ryan Cos. The $500 million complex includes two office towers for Wells Fargo & Co. with some 5,000 employees, up to 400 apartments and a public park.