A new home for Vikings? How about $853 million retractable-roof stadium that re-uses part of Metrodome?

In an effort to jump-start the lagging Vikings stadium debate, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which owns and operates the 27-year-old Metrodome, unveiled today a new $853 million retractable-roofed concept that re-uses some of the Dome’s foundation.

The design, developed by architects at Ellerbe Becket, would, literally, turn the stadium around, reorienting the current north-south football field to an east-west configuration. It would widen concourses, add 8,000 club seats and increase suites from 99 to 150.

According to stadium consultant CSL, the “reconstruction” would generate $32 million in new premium seating, signage, naming rights and ticket revenues over the current Metrodome revenue streams.

The Vikings’ lease at the Dome expires after the 2011 season. Vikings stadium executive Lester Bagley said the plan, and especially the financial projections, “require further study … We need to get this resolved sooner, rather than later, or this franchise is going to be in jeopardy.”

One issue: The Vikings would have to play elsewhere, probably at the new University of Minnesota stadium, for two seasons.

A plan to seek approval at the Legislature for a new stadium in 2007 was cut short when the I-35 bridge collapsed barely a mile from the Dome.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Nicklos Nicklos on 07/17/2008 - 01:02 pm.

    Awesome. And a big benefit to the city and the business community to have a state of the art stadium that competes with the best across the nation…

  2. Submitted by Tony Wagner on 07/17/2008 - 12:45 pm.

    That’s almost as expensive as the old plan, which would have demolished and replaced the Metrodome. Of course, that seems to be essentially what this plan does too. I’d still like to see a legitmate Dome renovation plan pushed forward — a retractable roof is unnecessary, and it seems like they could make many of these revenue-generating improvements just fine at the Dome, especially without the Twins and Gophers as co-tenants. Club seats would probably be the only problem, as they probably wouldn’t fit in the Dome’s current configuration without blowing up the upper deck.

    Please post details as you get them — I haven’t seen anything yet at other news sources. (Question: would Mike Lynn still get a percentage of suite revenue at a renovated or “rebuilt” Dome? Or does that expire with the lease?)

  3. Submitted by Justin Heideman on 07/17/2008 - 11:02 am.

    Sounds great, but it better not use a cent of taxpayer money. Let the vikings pay for it.

  4. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/17/2008 - 11:19 am.

    Didn’t we just build a new football stadium? As I recall, the legislature had to choose between building a stadium for the Gophers and one for the Vikings. For whatever reason, they chose the Gophers. Isn’t it just a bit late to go back on that decision now?

  5. Submitted by Ben Edwards on 07/21/2008 - 10:30 am.

    How about a link to the plan or something? And to posters who say they don’t want any taxpayer dollars used, I would say that’s a great sentiment but there are far worse abuses of tax dollars than a new stadium – just ask Seattle.

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