Four Options Unveiled For New Stadium

Metrodome Next

On Thursday, a consultant firm named Convention Sports and Leisure International was asked to present solutions to the Vikings stadium woes to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission who are the current landlords of the Minnesota Vikings.

Mortenson Construction claims that costs have dropped by 9% since the analysis was last conducted two years ago.  This is estimated to drop the final price tag of a new stadium by $84 million which could leave some officials wondering if now isn’t the best possible time to get this done.

CSLI laid out four basic options for the commission, and they basically breakdown as follows:

–          OPTION 1 (Price Tag: $870 million):  This option would see a new stadium completely built from new on the site of the existing Metrodome.  This would include a retractable roof.  The capacity would be 65,000 people.

–          OPTION 2 (Price Tag: $771 million):  This option would see a 13,000 seat portion of the existing Metrodome utilized.  They would rebuild an almost completely new stadium around this segment of the dome, which would also include a retractable roof.  The capacity would be 65,000 people.

–          OPTION 3 (Price Tag:  $975 million)  This option would renovate the existing Metrodome.  Adding club seated, luxury suites, and widening the concourses would be three of the major changes made to the Dome.  The current capacity of the Metrodome is 63,500.

–          OPTION 4 (Price Tag:  The Vikings leave town)  This option is to simply do nothing, and leave the existing Metrodome as-is.  The Vikings have reacted to any ideas along these lines with anger.

Forbes Magazine reports that the team is worth $835 million and had $209 million worth of revenues in 2008.  The Vikings had an operating income of $8.2 million before taxes, interest, depreciation, amortization, and all of those other words that I have no idea what they have to do with anything.

A new stadium is estimated to give the Vikings an additional $31.5 million in revenue per year.  A rebuild on the existing Dome would provide them with $20 million in additional revenue per year. 

The issue of a new stadium for the Vikings has long been at essentially a stale mate between the Vikings and the State of Minnesota.  If somebody doesn’t flinch, then things will get very interesting very quickly.

The Vikings lease on the Metrodome is set to expire in 2011, and team officials have been very adamant that they will not consider renewing their lease because the existing facility makes them one of the lowest-revenue teams in the NFL.

In fact, the Vikings were not present for today’s presentation to the Commission, and one can assume that the reason would be that they are still angry about last month’s attempt by the Commission to force the Vikings to renew their lease on the Metrodome.

“Given the MSFC’s recent attempt to delay a stadium discussion for two years, we are moving forward with those leaders who want to resolve this issue in 2010,” the Vikings said in a written statement.  The Vikings have not endorsed any of the four options that were presented, but one has to think they were at least a little encouraged about “Option #1.”  It is unknown who the “leaders who want to resolve this issue in 2010” are exactly.

As we mentioned on Wednesday, the Zygi Wilf had a meeting with Governor Tim Pawlenty, but there seems to be no major impact of that meeting as both sides still appear to be digging their trenches and planning to stand steady.

Pawlenty has made it very clear that he does not want to see Minnesota lose the Vikings, but at the same time does not want to see the public have to fund any of the costs for a new stadium.  The State Legislature, who is preparing to face a daunting budget deficit, is sure to be on that same page.

The presentation Thursday stated that, “without a significant improvement to the facility, it is unlikely that the team would re-sign a long-term agreement with the Commission.”

Which leaves one question:   When they leave, where will they go?

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5 Responses to “Four Options Unveiled For New Stadium”

  1. bigjohnny84 says:

    They better not leave Minnesota. I would love to have them come to Iowa, but you think the politicians are bad in Minn, they cant be as bad as the morons we have in Iowa. So please Minnesota get something done.

  2. CO Vike Fan says:

    Like many on this blog I’m an out of stater so hate to meddle in Minnesota’s politics, but the difficulty getting this done is looking ridiculous to the rest of the country. I moved to Denver shortly before Invesco Field was built, and it was barely a blip on the radar. The city knew they needed a new stadium, they put a small increase on sales tax, and they had it paid for in no time. No complaints!

    You would think with MN history with the North Stars and the very easy to see pattern with Baltimore, Cleveland, St Louis, and LA that the politicians would have a little foresight and get a solution done!

    Someday I plan to move back to MN, it’s hard enough thinking about going back to the sub zero temps, without the vikings we may as well be moving to Fargo.

  3. jeege says:

    I’ll be a viking fan no matter what. It’s easy because I live out of state now.

    But I grew up in the Twin Cities and it would really make me sad to see them leave.

    Unfortunately, when you leave these kinds of decisions to “swordfighting” (the penis kind) politicians and contractors, the only people who get hurt are the fans.

    No one is right in this situation. So, there will be a stalemate and it is likely that the Vikings will end up on the East Coast or in LA or something along those lines.

    Very unfortunate and totally unnecessary. But the fans are the only ones who will care/be hurt by it. Just ask someone from Seattle how they feel about how they lost the Sonics. Or…scrape back into your memory and recall what it was like to lose the NorthStars to DALLAS of all places. (UGH)

    Screw rich people and their ******* toys.

  4. Lost Viking says:

    The existing roof of the Metrodome would have to be replaced at a considerable cost. But a
    retractable roof design could be added to the existing facility for $ 200 million. Consider the type of roof to be ‘optional equipment’. Sunroof anyone? The current Field Turf is in relatively good condition.Therefore the $ 975M estimate for renovation seems riduculous.

    The Metrodome without the Viking lease is worth about the same as the Silverdome. Value arises from the event rentals. Too much of team-event generated revenue is being held by MSFC. This creates tensions with team owners.

    IF the team owners (who, by the way, are builders) took it upon themselves to build the stadium it would last longer. The original six hockey teams stayed with older arenas for 50 and 60 years. Many were built during through public subsidy during the depression but were owned by the team owners. As long as the house was full there was no need to replace aging facilities or threaten to move to an expansion venue. Northstar leaving wasn’t due to quality of the seating.

    Wilfs are real estate developers. Wilfs plan to generate supplemental revenue in activities adjoinging the stadium. Good. But they want MSFC to pay for the stadium rebuild and will always resent MSFC holding onto Viking concession revenues to repay the loans. Expect tensions around the lease to continue.

    If the taxpayers do subsidize construction of a building they should have some guarantee the Viking will help to pay down the mortgage.
    However, as the benefits are largely going to private owners why have the MSFC as owners at all? The state could still contribute a fixed capital subsidy based on estimates of total construction cost. Sale of the Metrodome to the Wilfs will make the renovation option suddenly that much more intriguing.

    Finally, no one is going to move back to Minnesota without the Viking

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