Minnesota Vikings to Build New Stadium for Team, Fans, Community

posted 10/17/2012 by Tracy Keller

Build It and They Will Come

Although the Minnesota Vikings practice to withstand the pressure of a fourth-and-1 with the game on the line, the Metrodome’s inflatable roof could not withstand the pressure of a Minnesota winter storm and collapsed after 17 inches of snow fell during a record weekend blizzard in mid-December 2010. The Metrodome’s roof has succumbed to the harsh Minnesota winter weather before; the roof deflated in 1981, 1982 and 1983 due to tears caused by heavy snowfall. However, the stadium remained incident-free from 1983 until the December 2010 collapse. The team began lobbying for a new stadium nearly a decade ago, and this latest incident caused NFL and team officials, along with fans and community members, to rally for the construction of a new stadium to keep the cherished franchise in Minnesota and deliver a much-needed economic impact to the city and surrounding region.

Architects Chosen to Build Dream Stadium

Dallas-based architectural firm HKS Inc. received a $34 million design contract to build the new Minnesota Vikings’ stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The cutting-edge architectural firm has designed an impressive portfolio of state-of-the-art NFL stadiums, including stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts. Both stadiums are thought to be the best stadiums in the NFL. HKS Inc. also designed the Ballpark at Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers; the Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wis.; and the Chicago White Sox’s U.S. Cellular Field. The Vikings’ new stadium will cost an estimated $975 million to build and should open in 2016. Minnesota gambling and hospitality taxes, along with funding from team and private sources, will finance the project.

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. Such interactive technology would put the game in the palm of a fan’s hands with replays, statistics and other game information being delivered to the fan’s smartphone. The new stadium also will include wider concourses, maximized sideline seating, easily accessible concessions, more restrooms and an enhanced game-day plaza to connect fans and surrounding communities.

With the design firm verified, the state must now hire a construction management firm, which officials plan to announce in November or December.

“People’s Stadium” to Deliver Massive Economic Impact

The Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium will deliver more than just a state-of-the-art football facility. It will provide a massive economic impact to the city and state at a time when it is most needed; Minnesota’s construction industry is experiencing a nearly 20 percent unemployment rate. The “People’s Stadium” will be 100 percent publicly owned and will not require any new city or state taxes to finance construction or maintenance. Estimates project the new stadium construction will provide more than 13,000 construction jobs and almost $300 million in construction wages through the first three years of construction. The stadium will also support an additional 3,200 ongoing full- and part-time jobs for facility operations and maintenance. Furthermore, a Convention, Sports and Leisure (CSL) study projects the new stadium will generate more than $26 million annually in tax revenue and more than $145 million in direct spending during events, with a substantial impact coming from nonmetro residents. A University of Minnesota study analyzed the economic impact of the Vikings–Cowboys playoff game in January 2010 and found that nonmetro game attendees spend nearly $6 million at restaurants, hotels, retail stores and on transportation in Minneapolis per Vikings’ game, which offers local businesses tremendous economic opportunities.

The new stadium will keep the Vikings in Minnesota for at least another 30 years, which should positively impact the quality of life for Minnesota residents and fans. Minnesota strongly supports its home team; statistics show that one out of every two Minnesotans (nearly 3 million residents) follows the Vikings on Sunday game days on television or radio, or by attending the game. The team also has a reputation for charitable giving and has donated more than $500,000 annually to organizations in the last several years. In addition, team members actively participate in the Vikings’ community outreach program.

The new stadium will also create new opportunities for individuals interested in a career in sports or facility management.

The state of Minnesota opted to build the new stadium to keep its cherished football team and deliver tremendous opportunities for economic and community growth throughout Minneapolis and the state.

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