Stadium Update – Just The Facts

Posted by Mike Wobschall on May 24, 2011 – 2:41 pm

Click here to watch an interview with Vikings VP of Public Affairs/Stadium Development Lester Bagley regarding a status update on the stadium issue in Minnesota.

The stadium situation in Minnesota has been a constant topic of conversation over the last couple of months and ultimately took center stage when Ramsey County announced on May 10 that it had reached an agreement to partner with the Vikings to build a stadium in Arden Hills. Since then, though, the 2010-11 Minnesota Legislative Session ended without a solution to the long-standing stadium issue.

Following the Vikings/Ramsey County announcement on May 10, the proposal has rightfully undergone scrutiny from State leaders, the public and the media. In the Minneapolis Star Tribune alone, no less than a dozen – many critical – articles have been published over the last two weeks on the topic.

Public dialogue surrounding the announcement is crucial in order to ensure the stadium decision is right for the State, the team and Vikings fans. However, the daily media coverage has also led to misinformation or a lack of focus on certain elements of the proposal. That being the case, we wanted to take a moment on to dissect several provisions of the Vikings/Ramsey County partnership so our fans and supporters fully understand the stadium issue as it moves forward at the State Capitol.

1) Comparison of sites
Some media have tried to make the case for a stadium at the Metrodome site. First, the Vikings have been clear that the Minneapolis proposal is not viable and the team does not support it. The Vikings worked with Ramsey County for nearly a year and delivered what the team was required to do by State leaders: a viable site, a strong local partner, a workable finance plan and significant contributions by both the team and Ramsey County. The Vikings are 100% focused on the Arden Hills location, which is the ideal site for the future of Vikings football and the best site by far for Vikings fans. Creating a Vikings destination in Arden Hills will bring back tailgating and will create a tremendous game day experience for fans.

2) Ownership of the stadium
The stadium will be publicly-owned and a new Minnesota Stadium Authority (MSA) will oversee the facility and will protect the public’s interest. The MSA will consist of five members – two appointed by the Governor, two appointed by the Ramsey County Board, including the chair, and one appointed by the City of Arden Hills. The MSA will ensure that the facility will host high school and amateur sports, community and civic events and all of the public events that are currently held at the Metrodome.

3) Operating expenses vs. revenues
One of the criticisms of new stadiums around the country is that it’s not just the public covering a portion of debt service, but also covering a significant portion of operating expenses that could range from $14-18 million annually. That criticism does not apply with the Ramsey County-Vikings agreement. Similar to the Minnesota Twins-Hennepin County arrangement, the current partnership between Ramsey County and the Vikings calls for the team to operate the retractable-roof stadium, pay over 90% of the operating expenses, and receive the revenues from the year-round events to help offset those operating costs. While some believe the Vikings stand to gain more revenue from this arrangement, the reality is that the annual operating expenses ($14-18 million) of the facility outweigh the revenues the other events provide.

4) Project cost savings
First, it is extremely unlikely that the construction budget will be reduced. This is an accurate and realistic assessment of the costs of building a multi-use facility that meets the requirements of the public and the team in Arden Hills. The Vikings have agreed to put $407 million, or 39% of the total costs, into the project, while the County has committed $350 million. This provision of the agreement regarding the first $41 million in cost savings was designed so the team would contribute tens of millions more up front than the County; however, as previously stated, a reduced stadium budget is very unlikely.

5) Personal seat licenses (PSLs)
The Vikings have not yet decided whether to pursue personal seat licenses (PSLs) in a new stadium. Regardless, should PSLs be pursued, the team does not anticipate the market contributing anywhere near $125 million, but in respect to the County, the Vikings agreed to put this language in the agreement to protect the public’s commitment. In essence, the provision says if the team raises over $125 million in PSLs, such excess will go back to offset the County’s costs on various items.

Thanks go to Vikings Assistant Director of Public Affairs Jeff Anderson for taking the time to provide information for this update.

Posted in All | 76 Comments »

76 Responses to “Stadium Update – Just The Facts”

  1. By Frederick Jones on May 24, 2011 | Reply


    Why don’t we just tear up the Metrodome turf, rip up the concrete, and have the Vikings play in the dirt.

    Think of the money we would save. Change the name of the team to the
    Mpls. Mud Duck Vikings.

    Just kidding. LOL

  2. By Frederick Jones on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Don McNabb to Sid Rice…

    Yes !

    But “Where’s The Beef?”

  3. By Frederick Jones on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Department of Yah Kno It’s Inneresting:

    Willie McGinnest mentioned Tarvaris Jackson as a possible veteran backup to Webb/Ponder.

    Of course the others then shot him down…

    Jus’ in case ya missed it.

  4. By Frederick Jones on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Yu hav mi permisshon tu rite.

  5. By paul on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Speaking of beef, how is the pinkie finger on Steve Hutchinson that caused him to miss the last 3-games?

  6. By DRS on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you Vikings for the updates, now the questions is will the state put the new stadium on the agenda for this special session?

  7. By DRS on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Will there be a season and will the Vikings have a home next year? How can we stand it, how?

    Have a great day, one and all.

  8. By Frederick Jones on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    My last blog was at about 6:30 p.m., It’s now after 9 p.m. !

    Are people afraid to log on here?

  9. By Titus on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    I did not know the Vikings were solely focused on Arden Hills the past year. I wonder if that has some of the lawmakers upset, considering the stadium’s price tag and it is publicly owned with the intention of being used far beyond the 10 games of an NFL season. In fact, on Wikipedia, the stadium is shown downtown– I think the general consensus was it would be in the city. I do think the Arden Hills design is excellent for football.

  10. By Adam on May 24, 2011 | Reply

    Hey I got a swell idea! How about Minnesota secures the only reason they stay relevant as a state in this country?! Nobody remembers Minnesota for anything else than the Vikings and the unfathomable snow falls. And I, for one, would like something other than our miserable weather to be a trademark to our state.

  11. By Mike B on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    I think the issue is that there was more support to use the Metrodome site. The Arden Hills site caugth the legislature off guard and leary with all the required improvements. So rather than make a decision they let it hang until no action could be taken. This is unfortunate for Minneasota and the Vikings. I really think the Arden Hills Site will be an overall money maker for all. I hope that it gets off the ground very soon. I hope that the Vikings will give the state another crack at getting stadium funding going. Have a great day.

  12. By Vikings Fan for Construction on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    You guys are so worried about the taxes going up and all the negative things why dont you think of the economic impact it will have on the state and community and if you look the Vikings impact the state alot with the taxes and income they bring and think of all the construction people who will be put back to work and be able to bring home income and be able to help contribute to the economy of the state of minnesota versus looking else where for jobs like out of state and not giving back to the state through taxes

  13. By no1vikingsfan on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    I heard there was a proposal to expand the seating at TCF Bank stadium to 80,000 and have the Gophers and the Vikings share the stadium, eehhh!! When the Vikings did use it they had a rule of absolutely no alcohol. Is this old news?

  14. By Frederick Jones on May 25, 2011 | Reply


    I hope that is old news. It would not be surprising.

    What is hard for me to believe is that we’ll actually have a state of the art stadium in MN.

    This blog has hit an all-time low for frequency.

  15. By Titus on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    Frederick it is hard to believe for a lot of folks– that is why it is stalling. We need to change the paradigm in Minnesota from — oh, it’s good enough and we don’t want to be irresponsible to live large, build the dream and good things will happen.
    We could have a stadium to rival the ones like in Dallas– and we definitely would have the best stadium in our division– good things come to those who wait. Ours will be the most modern and close to the biggest (not sure about the Lions’ stadium), so our division will be envious.

  16. By Titus on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    McNabb is coming to the Vikings.

  17. By Frederick Jones on May 25, 2011 | Reply


    The Dallas, TX stadium is tooooo much ! We do not need all the stuff around the stadium.

    I would like to see a new stadium. Period….

  18. By Elgar on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    The legislature told the Vikings to bring them a local partner and a financing plan to consider. Hopefully that was not some Wizard of Oz trick (as in: they’ll never come back with a witch’s broomstick), but don’t put the blame on Zygi if the Vikings must be sold. If you can’t afford a home team, then indeed you do not get one. When Ty Pennington moves the bus for you, the Vikings just will drive off in it. All you will see left behind that bus is the empty, dilapidated Metrodome and that still-polluted, vacant ammo site. Then, you too willl get to hear the story that they are being told out in LA: The NFL is not giving out expansion franchises or Green Bay deals anymore; you’ll simply have to take one of the existing teams from some other haplesss town. Good luck with that. Try not to act surprised, or else someone might want to slap you.

  19. By Jim on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    Start ponder let him see the peaks and lows he will learn from it and be comfortable in no time.

  20. By Jim on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    I believe ponder will be the best qb in the nfc north down the road the guy is smart plays well under pressure that is the recipe for success, nothing can make up for mental toughness in the nfl. I would rather have a mental toughness qb than any skill I believe our coaches should let him be on the field he will be the talk of the nfl if the coaches put faith in this guy.

  21. By Chilly4Life on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    The Vikings reached on all time low when Childress was fired. Both he and Tarvaris just needed a little more time and the stadium and Super Bowl issues would have worked themselves out. It’s a shame.

  22. By Titus on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    Chilly4Life, are you serious or being sarcastic?

  23. By paul on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    A stadium doesn’t make the team.

  24. By Shawn on May 25, 2011 | Reply


  25. By Shawn on May 25, 2011 | Reply




  26. By Shawn on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    i got on twitter and am sending messages to players around the league about my frusteration with DSmith and the non sense …. JOIN ME

    I sent messages to Dsmith , mike vick , peterson , rich eisen , ray lewis , MJD and a few others so far

    when they post a tweet that says they are playing golf i respond with how bout you end the lockout and play football …. :)

  27. By Shawn on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    looks like the lockout isnt close to ending , just courts milking money from a wealthy organization

    contais this great line …

    As the eminent philosopher and negotiator Mike Tyson once said “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

  28. By Frederick Jones on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    Baseball was extremely popular until they had that very long strike a few years back. They tried to bring it back with homers and steroids, but nobody is biting.

    The NFL is the best game in town right now. That could change with all the new rules, and if the strike is a long one.

    Replacement players do not make for good games. It’lll be like all-star wrestling—fake.

  29. By Frederick Jones on May 25, 2011 | Reply


    Chilly4LIfe took a shot at me. Fortunately I was not following the team very closely during Childress’s early years with the Vikings. So I cannot argue too vehemently.

    Let’s hope the Vikings change their management structure so that Frazier doesn’t have the same problems. Then again Singletary is there to be the snn o tt out of them, if he doesn’t get what he wants.

    Tarvaris Jackson has as much of a chance to be a star in the
    NFL as Matt Leinart. (Slim and none, okay mostly none)

  30. By Frederick Jones on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    The only ones winning in the NFL strike is the lawyers.

  31. By harlan on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    If they built the new vikings stadium to hook up to the target field with skyways the could have twice as many exits ,twice as many food stands and bathrooms and leave room between them both for walkway for the present exits . there by using both stadiums at once

  32. By harlan on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    They could even build super suites that could be above target field and inside the vikes stadium for both to use and charge companys year around suite rental fees .

  33. By Titus on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    harlan, that’s a great idea. better yet, open the roof of the IDS building for tailgating and fans can watch the game from up there.

  34. By Kyle on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    Seems pretty clear your erasing any comments you dont like

  35. By Titus on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    @ Fred, I figured the chilly4life was not a sincere posting. Childress could be a great coach one day.

  36. By echo on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    The football satium is publickly owned, the two sides can share the intrest according to the expenses agreened, anyhow, in personal opinion, it really cost so much to bulild this stadium, is there any possiblity to reduce the cost? Things will became easy if there will be compromise.

  37. By Titus on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    Correct me, but if a building is publicly owned, then cannot the public walk freely into that building? I don’t pay to walk into a library. If we own the stadium, why are we paying to sit in it?

  38. By no1vikingsfan on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Fred! do you comment often about people taken shots at you here? did you not just do that to me for no good reason? what’s notvikingfan? I am certain I been a Viking fan much longer than yourself, perhaps there is good reason why people on here takes shots at you.

  39. By Parody on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Titus – Isn’t every Civic Center publicly owned? I know that I’ve paid to attend events at a Civic Center before. I think you could probably argue that lakes are publicly owned as well, but you still are required to pay for the rights to fish in any lake. I’m just arguing to show that as far as “public” is concerned, there are different shades of ownership.

    From a different perspective, would a plumber come into your house to fix a leaky faucet if you didn’t agree to pay him for it? If you paid the plumber to fix the leak, would you expect him to unclog the drain for you at no extra charge? The Vikings are just using the prices to enter the stadium and reserve seats as their form of guaranteeing payment. Each fan entering the stadium can be representative of a new job that your plumber will perform while inside your house.

  40. By Stoney on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    CHILLY4 if you were serious i want what your smoking!

  41. By Frederick Jones on May 26, 2011 | Reply


    Your name looks like notvikingfan. You may want to put a space in there if you want to use that name.

  42. By Frederick Jones on May 26, 2011 | Reply


    Your comment was a good one, I apologize for using the wrong blogger name.

  43. By no1vikingsfan on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Will thank you Fred! apology accepted! I prefer to be friends with all Viking fans here, we all do share a great common interest.

  44. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

  45. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    This is from,

    Cohen said he expects the stadium debate to be pushed to 2012. But even then, he said, there may be other problems for stadium supporters. “It’s an election year,” said Cohen, suggesting that lawmakers may not want to take votes on such an emotionally-charged issue while trying to get re-elected

  46. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Greetings LA Vikings or Oregon Vikings; Maybe South Dakota, North Dakota or even New Mexico Vikings: Minnesota it is clear now that your lawmakers do not want the Vikings to stay in Minnesota, after all there is other greater needs don’t you know.

  47. By Spanky8 on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    JUNE 6th if this site wont post my comment others will

  48. By Spanky8 on May 26, 2011 | Reply


  49. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

  50. By Spanky8 on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    buy no more NFL products or refuse to go to the games if they dont end this lockout by JUNE 6th

  51. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    So Cohen, you are saying F-U Vikings, we do not need U. Is that what U are saying?

  52. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    So Minnesota are U going to re-elect you lawmakers, or are U going to let your voices be heard? Or are you all asleep and are ready to say good bye Vikings?

  53. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Wake up or lose another pro-sports team.

    Have a great day.

  54. By DRS on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry for any type-o’s

  55. By Churchill on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Zygi Wilf won’t tell you… even Lester Bagley won’t tell you… but I’m going to tell you. If there is no Vikings stadium bill passed this year, or an unworkable stadium bill is passed this year, the Vikings will be sold to one of the two LA groups that have the financial wherewithal to pay Zygi & Co. about $900 million for the franchise Zygi purchased for $600 million in 2005. The needed 75% of NFL team owners will vote to approve the relocation of the Vikings, who will be without a lease after the 2011 season. The announced sale of the franchise will happen in mid-February… shortly after the Super Bowl. The NFL group will pay about a $300 million relocation fee to the NFL that will be split in equal parts to all the NFL ownership groups and the league itself… They’ll each get about $10 million. The Vikings franchise playing in a state-of-the-art NFL revenue-generating stadium with over 200 private suites and 12,000 seats minimum will be valued in the $1.3 to $1.6 billion range. Those privately funding stadiums that have been proposed will be funded with naming-rights (one of the groups already has a $700 million naming-rights deal with Farmers Insurance. Their stadium in downtown LA will be called Farmers Field.), seat licenses (probably $400 to $500 million worth), parking, in-house advertising, and most of all development rights. Zygi & Co. make a $300 million profit “windfall” and all’s well with everyone except Vikings fans and the state of MN. There is no next year when it comes to the Vikings stadium issue… Mark my words.

  56. By animal26 on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Update, Looks like Ziggy wilf and other members of the Vikings are talking with LA officials now.

  57. By paul on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    If the Vikings leave i’m sure the U.F.L. would step-up with an expansion team for 2012.
    Who knows maybe Childress could be the head coach.

  58. By Frederick Jones on May 26, 2011 | Reply


    You and Charlie Waters may be right. There really isn’t much we as fans can do about it.

    We can cry all we want about wanting the Vikings to stay here, it doesn’t really matter much.

  59. By Frederick Jones on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Wobschall,

    It’s about time to write another blog. This one’s been dead since it began.


    That’s funny, I guess. You know that the Minnesota fans would never let him come back here.

  60. By Frederick Jones on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    If the politicians and the Vikings owners do not see the value of staying in Minnesota, then we are better off without them. They won’t support the team well enough to win the World Championship anyway !

  61. By Mike B on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Worse thing the Wilfs can do now is to appear to be negotiating with other locations. It will show the people of MN that it is more about the dollars than a real commitment to stay in MN. Although I feel it was foolish for the legislature to make no commitment to the new stadium, you can understand the reluctance. The state of MN can’t expect a football team to wait or accept a best availible facility. There are too few teams in the League and many cities willing to do what it takes to get a team in their city. The Vikings need top notch stadium something that will last. MN needs to get this done and keep the Vikings Name and History in MN forever. In the long run the Arden Hills Facility will be a money maker and taxes from it will come back many times. You need to spend money to make money.

  62. By Mike B on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    The Govenor and the Wilfs need to come together and show support to keep the Vikings in MN and spend the dollars to get it done. The people in MN need to see past the short term and look what it would like to lose the Vikings and income generated by the sports teams. The impact is large and with the new facitily that much larger. I hope something gets done and soon.

  63. By Frederick Jones on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    I think there will be a lot of hurtin’ Minnesotans if the Vikings leave. The Lakers were, and are a great franchise. The North Stars were not consistent winners. The Vikings are the all-time best Minnesota franchise.

    Most people do not believe they would leave. The Baltimore Colts were very strong, they left. The Browns have a great tradition, they left. Etc.

  64. By Frederick Jones on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    There are alot of things on hold:

    The CBA

    The Stadium

    The State Budget

    Perhaps there will be a positive explosion in the near future?

  65. By Shawn on May 26, 2011 | Reply

    Anyone remember a game called football?

  66. By Parody on May 27, 2011 | Reply

    Oh, I think I remember that game! Isn’t it where a bunch of men run around kicking a basketball-like object and trying to get it inside of a giant net, but usally ends in a zero-zero tie?

  67. By Parody on May 27, 2011 | Reply

    …kinda like hockey on grass, but without the fights to make it interesting…

  68. By Donnie on May 29, 2011 | Reply

    I live in Kentucky and have been a Vikings fan since 1973.
    If the team has to leave Minn.I will not follow.I know that I am just one fan but there are several others living outside the state of Minnesota that will not follow either.

  69. By josh on May 29, 2011 | Reply

    please get the stadium bill passed and build the stadium in arden hills mn, i work, have a family and pay my tax’s, i support paying tax’s on a stadium also, state wide what ever, i am down and every one i talk to is also down, now get ur done.

  70. By Sunny on May 30, 2011 | Reply

    Hi, I am a Vikings fan and live in Arizona. I keep an eye on the stadium talks because I would like to see the Vikings stay in Minnesota. My concern with the stadium talks is the money, livng in Az I watched as the Az Cardinals built a great retractable roof retractable grass field stadium that is not the most extravagant stadium in the country (dallas cowboys stadium) but is very nice and serves the purpose of hosting NFL games and other events all year round and was built for a price tag of $455 million dollars. Now of course the biggest hold up for Vikings is land and financing at over $1 billion dollars. Instead of the Vikings and Minnesota government arguing and trying to figure out where they are going to come up with $1 billion+ dollars to build the stadium why dont they call the Architect and builder of the Cardinals stadium and get this new stadium built for $500 million opposed to $1 billion+? I mean geez you dont need a Jerry Jones stadium you just need a functional stadium similar to University of Phoenix Stadium in AZ, seriously its already hosted the Super Bowl and is Host to the Fiesta Bowl And Insight Bowl every year among other great events hosted year round, I think that says something about the ability to get it done for less than $500 million dollars! Come on Minnesota and Vikings get it done!

  71. By Tim on Jun 1, 2011 | Reply

    if the vikings are sold i will never watch minnesota pro sports again not only that i will get the F#CK out of this state and try my best to put it all behind me

  72. By Tim on Jun 1, 2011 | Reply

    whats the point of minnesota having a football team if they cant even build them a field to play on when the time comes to build a new stadium i am so sick of F##KING billionhier C#CK S#CKERS

  73. By 12-4=XLV on Jun 1, 2011 | Reply

    member of the ‘Packer Fans for Vikings Stadium’ club
    this rivalry needs to continue

  74. By Yee Haynam on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    Interesting website. It’s very very cool. Through everthing the industry this Chicago Mob is really some of the best ideas out there in the hip club wear, very different and tough. I love it. Keep it up.Best wishesAmonette

  75. By lock out service on Oct 5, 2014 | Reply

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

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