The Minnesota Vikings have increased their contribution to their new stadium by $46.1 million, pushing their increased investment in the stadium to $49 million since last November.
The team committed $477 million to the project when the stadium construction legislation passed in May 2012, but their commitment has increased to $525.6 million in up-front capital costs, as well as $14.5 million annually to cover rent ($8.5 million), capital improvements ($1.5 million) and game-day expenses ($4.5 million).
“It is critical that the original stadium design unveiled in 2013 is delivered to the public when the new stadium opens in 2016,” Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide the best game day experience possible for our fans and for everyone in Minnesota who uses the stadium. We strongly believed eliminating significant items that contribute to that fan experience was not an option.”
The new money committed to the stadium will ensure fan amenities like the five pivoting glass doors, elevators, escalators and acoustical treatments remain in the project.
The Vikings are also absorbing $23.2 million in stadium relocation costs as they make the move to TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus for the 2014 and 2015 seasons while the new stadium is under construction at the site of the old Metrodome.
The increased spending means the Vikings are providing 51 percent of the stadium capital costs, which are now at $1.024 billion. The public contribution toward the project remains at $498 million.
“The Vikings have made a significant contribution to the stadium budget, which allows us to maintain the original design to ensure the stadium is the most iconic, world-class stadium in the country and perhaps the world,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “The team stepping up to make this contribution was instrumental in helping to solve our budget gap.”
The MSFA also approved a 10-year contract with SMG to provide stadium marketing and management services for the new stadium. SMG manages over 200 facilities worldwide, including four NFL stadiums - Soldier Field in Chicago, Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, NRG Stadium in Houston, and Everbank Field in Jacksonville.
SMG facilities have hosted nine Super Bowls.
“Their experience will be a fantastic asset as we prepare for Super Bowl LII in 2018, and other large-scale events that we are competing to host,” Kelm-Helgen said. “SMG represents a number of public agencies like ours and has a proven track record of fiscal success which will help take advantage of this new venue.”
SMG has committed to work with the Minnesota State High School League, colleges, and community groups to secure events that were previously held in the Metrodome.
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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