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Doug Belden / St. Paul Pioneer Press, Published April 18 2014

Vikings increase contribution to new stadium

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Vikings are putting another $1.2 million into the new stadium project for video-related changes the team wanted.

That bumps the official project cost from $975 million to $976.2 million.

The changes are related to increasing the size of the west end video board and improving video capability in some of the club areas.

In November, the team agreed to put up $26.4 million in contingency money, some of which could go back to the team if construction should cost less than expected. The $1.2 million is on top of that contingency fund.

As part of the deal to get the facility built, the team agreed to contribute $477 million to go with $348 million from the state and $150 million from the city of Minneapolis.

The changes to the project were approved Friday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

Overall, construction on the new stadium, scheduled to open in 2016 in downtown Minneapolis, is about 7 percent complete, officials said.

The Metrodome, which was on the same site as the new stadium, has been taken down and its debris taken away. Excavation is nearly done and concrete work on the new stadium is about to significantly increase. Roughly 300 workers are on site now on any given day, officials said.

Among other stadium-related news from Friday:

• The Vikings say about 70 percent of their season-ticket holders have signed up for seats at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, where the team will play the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Team officials declined to say how many season-ticket holders have re-upped at the new facility, where most seats will require purchase of a personal seat license in addition to the price of season tickets.

• The local bid to have the Super Bowl come to the new stadium in 2018 is due May 7. The NFL is expected to make its choice May 20.

The governor and legislative leaders included a letter with the initial bid a couple of weeks ago promising to work toward a “competitive bid package” but not offering specifics on what tax breaks they would support. MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said no further specifics will be offered in the final bid submission.

There is a law already on the books in Minnesota exempting Super Bowl tickets from sales tax, and that’s worth about $9 million, officials have said. Kelm-Helgen said she’s confident state leaders will do whatever else is required, though they have said they will not support income-tax exemptions for NFL personnel.

• The authority plans to interview bidders next month to become the third-party operator for the new stadium. The firm will run the facility and take the lead in attracting events and acts, Kelm-Helgen said.


The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.