Vikings stadium deal reached


Stadium negotiators announced Thursday a deal to build a new Vikings stadium near the current Metrodome site.

The deal is only the first step before a shovel can go in the ground. The state Legislature and the Minneapolis city council will still have to sign off, which could become a significant hurdle.

Under the proposal, the state would be paying for $398 million, the city would pay $150 million and the Vikings would add $427 million for the $975 million stadium.

The stadium would be built almost right on top of the Metrodome site, allowing the Vikings to continue playing there while the east end of the new stadium is built. That means some games will need to be played at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.

A tentative deal reached last week would add 3,000 endzone seats to the nearly 3-year-old stadium, bring its capacity up to about 54,000. Heating coils in the field could also be necessary.

Specific details of the Vikings’ stay at TCF were not disclosed at the press conference.

But Ted Mondale, Gov. Mark Dayton’s point man on the stadium negotiations, told reporters that the goal is to only have the team stay at TCF for one season.

The deal calls for companion legislation to be passed that would give Minneapolis greater control over sales taxes in the city, allowing it to renovate the aging Target Center and reduce property taxes by 2 percent, said Mayor R.T. Rybak.

A majority of Minneapolis city council members have voiced opposition to a stadium plan. But Rybak brushed those reports aside, stating that council members didn’t have the full details of the deal when announcing opposition.

Stadium bill author Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, expressed similar optimism that a deal could be passed by the Legislature. A bill is expected to be introduced Monday.

Dayton called on the Legislature to pass the bill this session.