New stadium plans unveiled - with a Vikings twist

Categories: Sports

The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is ready to move forward with a new stadium--but the Vikings may already be moving on to other options. Uh-oh.

At a meeting today, Mortenson Construction laid out four potential options for rebuilding the Metrodome. The preferred option would cost $870 million, less than previously estimated, the firm said. Due to the lagging economy, construction costs have decreased nine percent--$84 million--since the last estimate for this plan in February.

Zygi Wilf, owner of the Vikings, has made no secret of the fact that he wants a new stadium. Wilf met with Gov. Tim Pawlenty earlier this week to have coffee and chat about it. The Minnesota Vikings have committed to leasing the Metrodome only through the 2011 season. Today, the team was noticeably absent at the commission meeting, according to the Star Triubne. Afterwards, the Vikings released a statement that sure makes it looks like the commission and the team aren't exactly arm-in-arm:

While we have had the opportunity to provide some input into the Commission stadium design project, we are not in a position at this time to endorse their proposal. 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. There is growing support among elected officials, business leaders, organized labor and Vikings fans to tackle this issue during the 2010 Legislative Session. We are encouraged by the increasing level of awareness that this issue needs to be resolved now in order to secure the long-term future of the team in Minnesota.

Hmmm... what does this mean? Will the Viking stay or won't they?

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune outlined the three other proposals presented to the commission. It turns out that a new stadium is way more lucrative than a remodeled one, according to the Strib :

While a new stadium would net the Vikings an additional $31.5 million in annual revenue, one that was rebuilt would net it $20 million a year, the firm estimated.

Those two options, dubbed "Metrodome Next" are superior -- and less expensive -- than simply renovating the Dome by adding costly club seats, suites and widening concourses, the firm concluded. That option would cost nearly $975 million, it said.

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