For the Norwegian football (soccer) stadium, see Viking Stadion.
New Vikings Stadium
(Working Title)
Location 900 South 5th Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
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Broke ground October 2013[1]
Opened Projected 2016[2]
Owner Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority
Operator Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority
Construction cost $975 Million
Architect HKS, Inc.
Vikings Stadium Consortium (Studio Hive, Studio Five & Lawal Scott Erickson Architects Inc.)[3]
Project Manager Hammes Company[4]
Structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti[5]
Tenants Minnesota Vikings (NFL) (Date to be determined)
Capacity 65,000 (expandable to 72,000)[6]

The Vikings Stadium is the working title of the new upcoming stadium for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) in Minneapolis. The stadium has also been referred to as Downtown East and Metrodome Next.[7] It will be the franchise's third, replacing their current domed stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Current Metrodome leaseEdit

The Vikings' lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC), as signed by both parties in August 1979, kept them in the Metrodome until 2011.[8] The lease is considered one of the least lucrative among NFL teams; it includes provisions where the commission owns the stadium, and the Vikings were locked into paying rent until the end of the 2011 season. For the past 9 seasons, however, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission has been waiving the team's nearly $4 million rent.[9] The Vikings pay the MSFC 9.5 percent of its ticket sales; the commission "reserves all rights to sell or lease advertising in any part of the Stadium" and the team cannot use the scoreboard for any ads and does not control naming rights for the building; the commission controls the limited parking and its revenue; and the commission pays the team 10 percent of all concession sales, which in 2004 and 2005, amounted to just over half a million for the team each year while the MSFC takes roughly 35 percent of concessions sold during Vikings games.[10] The Vikings were 30th out of 32 NFL teams in local revenues in 2005.[10] The Vikings, as well as the stadium's other tenants, have continually turned down any proposals for renovating the Metrodome itself.[10] A plan for a joint Vikings/University of Minnesota football stadium was proposed in 2002, but differences over how the stadium would be designed and run, as well as state budget constraints, led to the plan's failure.[11] The university would eventually open its own TCF Bank Stadium in 2009.

Downtown MinneapolisEdit

From the outset, Zygi Wilf, a billionaire from New Jersey and principal owner of the Vikings since 2005,[12] had stated he was interested in redeveloping the downtown site of the Metrodome no matter where the new facility was built.[10] Taking into consideration downtown Minneapolis' growing mass transit network, cultural institutions, and growing condo and office markets, Wilf considered underdeveloped areas on the Downtown's east side, centered on the Metrodome, to be a key opportunity and began discussing the matter with neighboring landholders, primarily the City of Minneapolis and the Star Tribune.[10] An unrelated 2008 study explains that the effect of the media, in this case an uncritical Star Tribune, matters a great deal in helping a stadium initiative.[13] As a result, once the negotiations for the Anoka County location had been put aside, the Vikings focused on proposing a stadium that would be the centerpiece of a larger urban redevelopment project.[10]

Wilf's Vikings began acquiring significant land holdings in the Downtown East neighborhood around the Metrodome in June 2007, the Vikings acquired four blocks of mostly empty land surrounding the Star Tribune headquarters from Avista Capital Partners (the private equity owner of the Star Tribune) for $45 million; it is also believed the Vikings have first right of refusal to later buy the paper's headquarters building.[14] In May 2007, the Vikings also acquired three other downtown parking lots for a total of $5 million, and have made a bid for a city-owned, underground parking ramp next to the neighborhood's light rail station.[14]

Proposal timelineEdit


On April 19, 2007, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) and Vikings unveiled their initial plans for the stadium and surrounding urban area, with an estimated opening of 2012.[15] The plan included substantial improvements to the surrounding area, including an improved light rail stop, 4,500 residential units, hotels with a combined 270 rooms, Script error of office space and substantial retail space.[1]

As of 2007, the stadium would have held approximately 73,600 people and was to have been complete by August 2011. The initial proposal did not have the final architectural design renderings, but did include key features that were to have been included in any final plan, including the plans for neighboring urban development. These included demands for a retractable roof, an open view of the surroundings (particularly the downtown skyline), a glass-enclosed Winter Garden alongside the already-existing adjacent Metrodome light-rail stop, leafy urban square with outdoor cafés and dense housing around its edges, aesthetic improvements to roads connecting the stadium to nearby cultural institutions, and adaptive reuse of neighboring historic buildings.[2] The roof would have allowed Minneapolis to remain a potential venue for the Super Bowl and Final Four, both of which had been held at the Metrodome. The proposed urban plan itself was received with cautious welcome.[3]

The 2007 proposed cost estimate for the downtown Minneapolis stadium was $953,916,000.[4] The total broke down to $616,564,000 for the stadium, $200,729,000 for a retractable roof, $58,130,000 for parking, $8,892,000 for adjacent land right-of-way, and $69,601,000 to take into account inflation by 2010.[4] The estimate compared to then-upcoming stadiums in Indianapolis at $675 million (retractable roof, completed 2008), Dallas at $932 million (retractable roof, completed 2009) and New York at $1.7 billion (open-air, completed in 2010).[4] In addition, according to Wilf, taking into account the costs for the surrounding urban developments put forth in the proposal would have brought the estimated total to $2 billion.[5] The estimated costs were based on projected 2008 construction and material costs, so it would have been possible that the stadium costs could have hovered near $1 billion if the Minnesota State Legislature had not approved the project in the 2008 session.[6][dated info]

No proposals were made, at that time, for paying for the stadium.[1] The MSFC and Vikings made initial pitches to the Minnesota State Legislature during the end of the 2007 session, but expected to make serious efforts during the 2008 legislative session.[7] The Vikings proposed creating a Minnesota Football Stadium Task Force, which they expect would take 24 months to plan the stadium.[7]


Following the September 2008 MSFC vote to start feasibility studies for re-using the Metrodome, an unrelated study released for 38 U.S. cities[8] found that "when a [NFL] team wins, people's moods improve,"[9] and that personal income for residents of a city with an NFL team with 10 wins increases about $165 per year.[9] While true for NFL football, for comparison, professional baseball and basketball gain no personal income for residents.[9]


Feasibility studies for Dallas-based design and local construction of a new stadium were expected in early 2009.[10] Roy Terwilliger, a former Republican state senator from Edina, Ray Waldron, an AFL-CIO leader, and the Dome engineering expert and CEO, Bill Lester and Steve Maki of the MSFC selected architectural firm HKS of Dallas and construction manager Mortenson of Minnesota over the objections of Paul Thatcher and Timothy Rose of Minneapolis-St. Paul, who preferred Ellerbe Beckett and Kraus-Anderson, both of Minnesota. Loanne Thrane of Saint Paul, the sole female member of the commission, voiced opposition and later voted with the majority.[11]

In December 2009, commission chairman Terwilliger said, "We know what the art of the possible is at this particular location." A new proposal for 65,000 seats with a sliding roof was unveiled at US$84 million less than the previous proposal, but with US$50 million per year more scheduled for each year that construction is delayed.[12] Vikings officials boycotted the presentation which estimated the total cost at US$870 million, or US$770 million if the sliding roof is omitted.[12]


The 2010 Vikings stadium proposal was dealt a setback on May 5, 2010, when a Minnesota House panel defeated the proposal by a 10-9 vote.

The stadium debate was revived in the aftermath of the Metrodome's roof deflation on December 12, 2010; which forced the relocation of the Vikings' final two home games of the 2010 season and led to more calls for a new stadium from various sources in the local and national media.[13][14] Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton discussed the matter with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but said "any new stadium must first benefit the people of Minnesota".[15]


City of Minneapolis ProposalEdit

After Hennepin County stopped their pursuit of a Vikings stadium,[16] the city of Minneapolis submitted a plan for a Vikings' stadium at the downtown Metrodome site. The Minneapolis plan is for a fixed-roof stadium costing an estimated $895 million. The proposal also included funding solutions for $95 million in renovations to the Minnesota Timberwolves' Target Center. The team reacted with skepticism to the proposal and did not want to play at nearby 50,000 seat capacity University of Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium during three years of construction.[17] Because the Minneapolis dome site is a cheaper option, football fans were expected to return to the Minneapolis plan if the shortfall in the Ramsey County plan were not realized.[18]

Ramsey County ProposalEdit

In May 2011, Ramsey County officials announced they had reached an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings to be the team’s local partner for a new stadium, subject to approval by the Minnesota Legislature and to approval of a sales tax by the Ramsey County Board.[19] The site of the stadium would be the former Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant in Arden Hills, which is about 10 miles from the Metrodome in Minneapolis and is a Superfund clean up site. The agreement called for an $884 million stadium and an additional $173 million for on-site infrastructure, parking and environmental costs.[20]

Ramsey County said the Vikings would commit $407 million to the project, which would have been about 44 percent of the stadium cost and 39 percent of the overall cost. The county's cost would have been $350 million, to be financed by a half-cent sales tax increase.[20] The state of Minnesota's cost would have been $300 million.[19] This totalled about $1.057 billion, leaving at least a $131 million shortfall.[18] Minnesota Vikings and the State of Minnesota agreed the total of fixing roads would have been $131 million.[citation needed]


On March 1, 2012, an agreement was announced by Minnesota governor Mark Dayton for a new stadium to be built on the site of the Metrodome, pending approval by the state legislature and the Minneapolis city council.[21] The $975 million project, half of which will be publicly funded, will be patterned after Lucas Oil Stadium. It will utilize part of the footprint of the Metrodome and will only require the Vikings to play at TCF Bank Stadium during the final year of construction.[22] The agreement met with mixed reaction, and some criticized the proposal as being unfair to taxpayers and a giveaway to team owners.[23]

On May 10, 2012, the Minnesota Legislature approved funding for a new Vikings stadium on that site. The project is projected to have a $975 million price tag, with the Vikings covering $477 million, the state covering $348 million, and $150 million covered by a hospitality tax in Minneapolis. The city of Minneapolis must pay a total of $678 million over the thirty year life of the deal, including interest, operations and construction costs.[24] The bill was signed by Gov. Dayton,[25] and received the approval of the Minneapolis City Council on May 25, 2012.[26][27] The Vikings will play in the Metrodome through the 2013 season, as construction would not require the immediate demolition of the Metrodome. The Vikings will then move to TCF Bank Stadium until the new stadium is complete.


In August, 2012, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA)—the stadium's newly created owner—received bids and plans from five architectural and engineering firms, all nationally recognized stadium designers, including Populous, AECOM, EwingCole, and HNTB.[28][29] On September 28, 2012, the MSFA selected the Dallas firm of HKS, Inc., which had designed both Cowboys Stadium and Lucas Oil Stadium within the previous decade, to serve as the project's architect.[30] HKS Inc. also designed Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers; the Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and renovations to the Chicago White Sox’s U.S. Cellular Field. Initial design plans have not been released to the public, but Viking officials say they hope the budget will allow the new stadium to include a retractable roof, walls or windows. The design team also plans to incorporate interactive technology into some elements to create a more engaging fan experience.[31]

On December 7, 2012, the MSFA announced that construction of the facility was slated to begin in October 2013.[32]


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Strib-Levy-041907
  2. "The Plan's Key Ingredients". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). April 19, 2007. Retrieved April 19, 2007.
  3. Peterson, David (April 19, 2007). "Urban Planners See Sketches As First Step". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved April 19, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Cost Comparison". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). April 19, 2007. Retrieved April 19, 2007.
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Strib062107a
  6. Levy, Paul (June 21, 2007). "Stadium Could Cost $1 Billion". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Paul Levy, No Vikings stadium bill now, but next year, maybe?, Star Tribune, May 19, 2007.
  8. Davis, Michael and End, Christian M. (undated). "A Winning Proposition: The Economic Impact of Successful NFL Franchises" (PDF). Economic Inquiry (planned) via Copley Press. Retrieved October 4, 2008.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Stetz, Michael (October 4, 2008). "Winning Football Season is Found to Convert Into Cash". San Diego Union Tribune (Copley Press). Retrieved October 4, 2008.
  10. Vomhof, John (September 26, 2008). "Commission Picks Designers for Metrodome Project". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (Advance Publications). Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  11. Weiner, Jay (September 26, 2008). "New Vikings Stadium: High Drama at Stadium Commission". MinnPost. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bakst, Brian (December 18, 2009). "New Vikings Stadium Proposal: $870M, No Pay Plan". Google News. Associated Press. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  13. Erskine, Chris (December 13, 2010). "Metrodome Roof Collapse Had to Be a Sign From Above". Los Angeles Times.
  14. Borzi, Pat (December 14, 2010). "With Their Dome Deflated, the Vikings Still Need a Home".
  15. Kaszuba, Mike (December 17, 2010). "Dayton Meeting with NFL Commissioner". Star-Tribune (Minneapolis). "On December 26, 2010 the Zigi Wilf the Vikings owner agreed to accept an outdoor stadium."
  18. 18.0 18.1 Lambert, Brian (May 11, 2011). "Plenty of Doubts Ramsey County Can Pull off Stadium Deal". MinnPost. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Duchschere, Kevin (May 10, 2011). "Ramsey County Vikings? $1 Billion Stadium Agreement Says Yes". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Associated Press (May 10, 2011). "Vikings, Ramsey Co. Announce Stadium Deal". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  23. Tom Goldstein - City Pages - March 4, 2012 - "New Vikings Stadium Proposal Isn't For The People"
  24. Ozanian, Mike (May 23, 2012). "Minneapolis City Council President Uses Bizarre Math To Push New Stadium For Vikings". Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  25. 2012 Minn. Laws Ch. 299
  26. Finally: Vikings stadium approved by Senate
  27. Roper, Eric (May 25, 2012). "Stadium Gets Final Sign-Off". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  28. Meryhew, Richard (August 31, 2012). "Bids Are in on Vikings Stadium Project". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  30. Meryhew, Richard (September 28, 2012). "Dallas Firm Chosen to Design Viking Stadium". Star Tribune (Minneapolis). Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  31. [1]
  32. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named expectedgroundbreaking

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