Minneapolis chooses Dome as preferred site for new Vikings stadium

The Metrodome site has become the No. 1 choice of Minneapolis city officials hoping to keep the Vikings in the city.

Mayor R.T. Rybak
Mayor R.T. Rybak

Mayor R.T. Rybak told a joint state Senate committee today that building a Vikings stadium on the old stadium site would cost $215 million less than any other proposed site. Additionally, he spoke of the infrastructure already is in place.

A week ago, Rybak had been chastised by members of the committee because city officials had not selected a single site, nor had they met with the Vikings.

The mayor said that neither of two other sites — near Target Field — remain on the table, making the dome site No. 1.

Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson also said they had now had their meeting with the Vikings.

“Very productive,” Johnson and Rybak both said of that meeting.

Lester Bagley, a Vikings vice president, earlier in the hearing told members of the Senate Taxes and State Government committees, that the team had fulfilled legislators’ request that the Vikings meet with Minneapolis officials.

Bagley sounded less than thrilled about that meeting.

“Arden Hills remains our preferred site,” he said.

The Vikings have often spoken of the “game-day experience” for football fans at the Ramsey County location. That mostly appears to mean tail-gating in massive parking lots controlled by the Vikings.

Rybak vowed today that Minneapolis could offer a different sort of “game day experience.” He proposed that the team use the old Armory building near the Metrodome site for pre-game and post-game fan experiences. He also talked of making “enhancements” along streets leading to the new stadium on the old site.

During construction of the new stadium, Rybak noted the team would need to play at the University of Minnesota’s football stadium.

The hearing, which will include no votes, was scheduled to include three hours of public testimony.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/06/2011 - 03:07 pm.

    With the NFL announcing its new $7 billion a year media deal, perhaps the Vikings will think again about taking the Dome off of our hands.

  2. Submitted by Matt Brillhart on 12/06/2011 - 03:30 pm.

    While I am disappointed, as I was pulling for either of the sites near Target Field, hopefully this decision will allow the discussion to move forward.

    “Arden Hills remains our preferred site,” says Lester Bagley. No one should be surprised by this comment. The proposed deal was way too beneficial to Vikings ownership. They are not going to take any other site seriously while Arden Hills remains on the table. Here’s what I don’t understand: Zygi wants $650M from the public. He also feels entitled to the naming rights proceeds, parking lot revenue, and potential seat license fees from a stadium that would be publicly owned. This is outrageous. Someone in the governor’s office or legislature needs to start negotiating a better deal for the state. Those 3 revenue streams I mentioned should be part of any public contribution, not part of Zygi’s.

  3. Submitted by Luke Ferguson on 12/06/2011 - 03:49 pm.

    The Metrodome site is probably at the bottom of the Viking’s list. They are going to cry a river about lost revenue while having to play at TCF Bank Stadium.

  4. Submitted by David Greene on 12/06/2011 - 04:05 pm.

    This is puzzling. A site near Target Field makes more sense. More parking there, more transit access. There are even open lots for tailgating (they exist near the Dome as well).

    I liked the idea of redeveloping the Dome as a medical campus, situated where it is near the University and HCMC.

    Wonder if the Vikings pushed for this so it would look most unpalatable compared to Arden Hills. Still, any Minneapolis site is far superior to Arden Hills, for reasons reiterated on these pages many time.

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