The Minnesota Vikings football organization was first established and joined the NFL in 1961, and the organization has been in Minnesota for over 51 years. For the past two years, the Minnesota Vikings have asked the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota to build a new stadium for the franchise, after the roof of the Metrodome collapsed, during a violent and heavy December snow storm in 2010. After the incident, it was evident by the ownership of the Vikings that a new stadium had to be top priority. For over two years now, negotiations have been on and off, and rumors started to form that Owner Zygi Wilf was considering relocating the team to Los Angeles if his demands were not met. In March of 2012, a plan was constructed by the city council members of the city of Minneapolis to build a state of the art $975 million stadium for the Vikings. On May 10th, 2012 the plan for the new stadium was passed in the state senate with a 36-30 vote. Finally, on May 14th, 2012 Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota signed the voted bill into effect, giving the go ahead for the construction of the Minnesota Vikings new stadium.
Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton’s signed bill will keep the Minnesota Vikings in the Minneapolis area for the immediate and long-term future, which has excited both Mayor R.T. Rayback of Minneapolis, and Owner Zygi Wilf, and most importantly all the Vikings fans throughout Minnesota and elsewhere. Viking Owner Zygi Wilf has stated that his intention all along was the keep the team in Minnesota. The passed legislation is a plan that calls for the construction of football venue costing more than $975 million. The funding of the future stadium is split in three ways. The Minnesota Vikings franchise will pony up more than $477 million for construction of the facility, which is about 49% of the cost. The state of Minnesota will contribute more than $348 Million and the city of Minneapolis will add another $150 million for the construction costs. Both the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis will contribute a total of $498 million combined, which is 51% of the cost of the stadium.
Several politicians throughout Minnesota and citizens are angered that the state will have to pay $348 million for the cost of the stadium, especially in times like this. The plan for the state of Minnesota’s estimated $348 million cost will come from some tax revenues, but mostly from gambling, which is controversial to many people. For the most part, many people are excited throughout the state that the Vikings are staying in Minnesota. The future stadium will be beneficial to the people of Minneapolis and to the state. As a final touch in stadium design, the Vikings are looking into a retractable roof for the stadium, which would open the ceiling during good weather months, and close the ceiling during bad weather months. If this is done, then the cost of the stadium could go up even more, which is being anticipated by the Vikings.
The future stadium will be built next to the current stadium, which is the Metrodome, in the city of Minneapolis. the current plan for the Vikings is to play in the Metrodome until the current lease expires. during the construction of the new stadium, the Vikings will move outdoors to TCF Bank Stadium, which is the home of the University of Minnesota’s football team. The Vikings organization hopes that construction will start as soon as possible, and the estimated date of completion will be sometime in 2016 before opening kickoff to the start of the 2016-2017 NFL season. The final hurdle for construction to being, is that the NFL owners must approve the plan for the construction of the Vikings new stadium. Approximately 24 of the 32 owners have to vote in favor of the plan in order for construction to happen. The stadium will have a projected capacity of 65,000 which could change with any changes to the design. It will look similar to Lucas Oil Stadium, which is the state of the art facility of the Indianapolis Colts.
It’s a wonderful step in the right direction for the Minnesota Vikings franchise after having two losing seasons in the past two years since their NFC Championship run in 2010. The Vikings may have a new stadium by 2016, but the team is in a rebuilding mode, which will continue to last for the next 2 to 4 years. The Vikings have a new stadium, but it doesn’t mean they will be a winning franchise. Its a good thing to the Vikings stayed in Minnesota. The team has rich history and tradition in the area, and it would be shame if they moved to a new market, such as Los Angeles, which could have been a strong possibility if this deal didn’t go through. The next major step is for the NFL owners to vote and approve the construction of the stadium, and for the state of Minnesota to come up with the estimated $348 million it needs to being constructing the stadium. The NFL owners will approve the project, and Minnesota will somehow figure out how it will get the money it needs to build the stadium. Hopefully, without any funding issues or construction delays, the Minnesota Vikings will play in their new stadium by 2016, and will hopefully host a Superbowl that year or in the near future.