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Vikings reach stadium deal with university
TCF Bank Stadium (USA Today)
Posted May 9, 2013
The Vikings and University of Minnesota have reached a deal for the Vikings to play at TCF Bank Stadium for two seasons.
One of the problems the Vikings had in getting approval by the state for stadium financing was that once the legislation got narrowed down specifically to building the new stadium in the architectural footprint of the current Metrodome site, the Vikings needed to find somewhere else to play.
It was generally agreed upon that the Vikings would play one or two seasons at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. The university really didn’t have a leg to stand on in the terms of making outrageous demands. It is a state-owned facility that was written into the legislation even though a deal hadn’t formally been struck. Of all the add-ons and pork-barrel projects (i.e. a Saints baseball stadium), there was little to no discussion in the framework of the bill as to what would happen if the Vikings and the U of M couldn’t reach an agreement.
On Wednesday, the Vikings and university representatives reached an agreement on the parameters of the deal for how the university will be compensated for the letting Vikings fans invade the campus 20 times (or more) in 2014-15 (or January, 2016?). The agreement, which has yet to be officially released, will be sent to the U of M Board of Regents Friday for a final vote.
The board doesn’t have many bosses. Gov. Mark Dayton and the State Legislature are truly their bosses and they’ve already given tacit approval to the relocation.
The good news for the state and the university at a time when revenue streams are hard to come by, the largesse of the NFL will provide a lot of revenue that would have otherwise gone unclaimed by the university. Because the NFL has its own set of requirements (such as heating coils under the field to keep it as snow-free as possible during the winter months), the university might experience stadium upgrades that will likely not come out of their own pocket.
While the deal isn’t officially done yet, even if a rogue board of regents wants to do a little huffing and puffing, it’s all but a done deal.
The devil is in the details and it would appear those have been finalized. The Vikings will be playing at TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said Wednesday that he wants the state to have a backup plan for new stadium financing in place before the State Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 20. To date, the projected numbers for the state’s funding mechanism to pay its share of the new Vikings stadium is running well below projections from a year ago. The difference in the numbers isn’t so much that they are below projections, but the proliferation of the electronic gaming in state bars and restaurants are running so far behind projections. As many as 2,500 electronic gaming locations were expected when the projections were made and the actual number is far less than half of that. Those numbers are hoped to increase with the release of video bingo games this week.
Former Vikings running back Ted Brown has been named part of the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame class. Brown, who played his college ball at
North Carolina State
, was part of a 12-man class that includes Orlando Pace, Vinny Testaverde, Ron Dayne and Tedy Bruschi.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for
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