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Vikings cite additional costs at Dome site
The City of Minneapolis had declared the Metrodome as its preferred site for a potential new Vikings stadium, despite the Vikings previously pointing out the obvious issues that would come with relocating their playing venue for three years while a new stadium is built on the existing site.
Tuesday's letter put a dollar figure to those costs: $67 million.
If the Metrodome site were chosen as the location of a new Vikings stadium, the team would be forced to play at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, where they played one game when the roof of the Metrodome collapsed in December 2010. Because of the reduced capacity at TCF compared to the Metrodome, the Vikings estimate they would generate $12.3 million less per season.
TCF Bank Stadium would also have to undergo capital improvements to meet minimum NFL requirements, estimated at nearly $11 million, according to the letter. The Vikings acknowledge that those improvements to the stadium would benefit the University of Minnesota long term.
The Metrodome site would also have to include parking for 2,500 cars on-site or immediately adjacent to the stadium to fulfill "NFL program requirements," the letter stated. The team estimated that would require an additional $19 million to acquire and build additional parking.
With all of the additional costs, the team believes the Metrodome site would have a $962 million price tag. The Vikings' preferred location in Arden Hills has a $1.1 billion price tag attached to it.
"In addition to these cost considerations, the Vikings have concerns about the significant disruptions to our football team, our fans, and our sponsors and partners, as well as potential challenges created for University of Minnesota neighborhoods, during the three-year period when we would have to play our games at TCF Bank Stadium," read the letter signed by Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf.
The letter was sent to Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council president Barbara Johnson, as well as Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Rep. Morrie Lanning, Sen. Julie Rosen and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission chairman Ted Mondale.
The City of Minneapolis last year floated an old idea of trying to sell the Metrodome to the Vikings for one dollar, a move that once again was rejected by the team.
The Vikings prefer an Arden Hills location that has the support of Ramsey County leaders and has more than enough room to develop around the stadium. Minneapolis also has two other sites it has been promoting as possibilities, the Farmer's Market site and one near the Basilica.
Dayton last week called for proposals from Minneapolis and Ramsey County to be turned in Thursday.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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