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Wilf says Vikings will pay less for stadium built in Minneapolis

Zygi Wilf AP

The Minnesota Vikings have committed to kicking in, with the help of the NFL, $400 million toward to cost of a new stadium.  But there’s a caveat.

For the Purple to plunk down the full amount, the facility needs to be constructed in the franchise’s preferred location of Arden Hills, Ramsey County.

“We’re committed to the Arden Hills site for what it brings to the fans, but we’re also committed to investing over $400 million in specific to the Arden Hills site for the experiences that everyone can get from Arden Hills,” owner Zygi Wilf told the Associated Press.  “Any other location besides Arden Hills wouldn’t justify near that level of commitment.”

Wilf’s comments come at a time when some politicians would like to steer the stadium project to Minneapolis.  And Wilf has a clear incentive to see the stadium built in the rural location — he plans to buy up a bunch of the surrounding property and develop it.

Also complicating matters is a reluctance by some to resolve the issue now.  Wilf doesn’t like that talk, either.

“Avoiding the issue, as seems to have been taking place in the last couple of weeks, does not work,” Wilf said.  “It only gets more difficult and more expensive.  We’re very encouraged by leadership of both houses and the governor in trying to bring a stadium solution front and center.”

The Vikings believe their lease at the Metrodome expires on January 1.  Based on a clause contained in the 32-year-old document, the lease could be extended by a year.  The situation will need to be resolved at some point soon, regardless of whether the new stadium is built in Arden Hills or Minneapolis.

Or Los Angeles.

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51 Responses to “Wilf says Vikings will pay less for stadium built in Minneapolis”
  1. Little Earthquake says: Nov 10, 2011 11:33 PM

    Why would you build a Vikings stadium way the hell outside of Minneapolis? The Vikings and their fans truly are stuck in the 1970s.

  2. cusoman says: Nov 10, 2011 11:36 PM

    Adren Hills is suburban, not rural.

    Anyway, this story makes sense since any stadium built in Minneapolis should realistically be cheaper than in Arden Hills since the infrastructure is already there in Minneapolis.

  3. johnnyb216 says: Nov 10, 2011 11:36 PM

    Donzo.

  4. redbullenergydrink says: Nov 10, 2011 11:37 PM

    There should be no more discussion regarding where the stadium should be built. Minneapolis is not an option. All debates should be regarding funding now.

  5. indyseriesnick says: Nov 10, 2011 11:39 PM

    I DONT CARE WHERE IT IS

    Just get a stadium built so Minnesota can enjoy another 25 years of VIKINGS FOOTBALL!!!

  6. indyseriesnick says: Nov 10, 2011 11:41 PM

    I DONT CARE IF ITS IN DOWNTOWN OR A.H.

    Just get a stadium built so Minnesota can enjoy another 25 years of VIKINGS FOOTBALL!!!

  7. forthelove says: Nov 10, 2011 11:47 PM

    >>And Wilf has a clear incentive to see the stadium built in the rural location — he plans to buy up a bunch of the surrounding property and develop it.

    Same thing Jerruh did. Super weak.

  8. staffordsyear says: Nov 10, 2011 11:50 PM

    Blah blah blah.

  9. damnyoulinelliot says: Nov 10, 2011 11:52 PM

    This seriously needs to come to an end. Get it over with.

  10. allday296 says: Nov 10, 2011 11:56 PM

    Very sad if the vikes leave MN, don’t think I can root for another team. I will abandon the NFL like I did the NHL when the North Stars moved. I haven’t watched hockey since, I would hate to lose football also.

  11. buffalosaint says: Nov 10, 2011 11:58 PM

    Just looked at this Arden Hills on a map to see how rural it really is and wow there really are a ton of lakes up there.

  12. bresilhac says: Nov 11, 2011 12:01 AM

    Or San Antonio for that matter. Don’t forget that San Antonio would also be an attractive place for Wilf and the Vikings to move to as well. Especially if a new Dome deal materializes.

  13. jamiebuf12 says: Nov 11, 2011 12:05 AM

    so let me get this right…….zygi needs help from the nfl to get this deal done and then with his own money he wants to buy up land around the stadium to develop????? is this right?

  14. Soulman45 says: Nov 11, 2011 12:08 AM

    Frist to say Welcome to Calf.

  15. nfcnorth2011 says: Nov 11, 2011 12:11 AM

    Attention fair weather fans of Minnesota, please buy tickets and show up to root for your team before you lose them to L.A. When the Bears, Packers, and Lions suck their fans, while not happy, keep the faith and keep supporting their teams. The weak fans in Minnesota only show when their team has a shot. Seriously get behind your team for once call your state politicians and get them to get this deal done before the Vikes go the way of the Lakers.

  16. corchamp says: Nov 11, 2011 12:15 AM

    This whole situation is stupid.

  17. gdeli says: Nov 11, 2011 12:17 AM

    Ziggy won’t dick around, he gets a stadium or he is gone. I might do the same. Get it done mn politicians and quit stalling. Pull tabs? etc.

  18. apooster says: Nov 11, 2011 12:18 AM

    People are failing to point out what you just did Mike. The Vikings prefer the Arden Hills site so Zygi (who has made his billions in real estate) can develop everything around it.

    He’s not pitching in $400 million plus for the stadium, he’s pitching that in to (correct me if I’m wrong) to either get first rights on purchasing all land around the stadium, or will be receiving a majority of the land due to the financial investment he is making.

    Either way it’s a business decision for Zygi, that’s why he prefers the Arden Hills site.

  19. vikingsguy says: Nov 11, 2011 12:19 AM

    How is LA funding their new stadium? I thought CA was beyond broke.

  20. warvette says: Nov 11, 2011 12:19 AM

    or los angeles?! this is the first i’ve heard of this!!

  21. axespray says: Nov 11, 2011 12:44 AM

    that family guy episode, “Super mutants” or whatever, peter has that power to be britt -spears and he tricks j -timberlake into kissing him and he morphs into that weird hairy guy…

    idk, Ziggy Wilf looks like that guy Peter morphed into…. my memory is awful.

  22. Justin says: Nov 11, 2011 12:54 AM

    Few things I think I may recall from listening to KFAN (Minneapolis sports radio) and from this site. May not be 100% correct so don’t jump on me if I misremembered.

    1. I believe I have read or heard that Arden Hills is something like 10 miles away from the current metrodome. I think we can manage to make the drive.

    2. Mr. Wilf has a stipulation in his contract with the Arden Hills site restricting him from buying land around a the new stadium for personal development.

    I think he wants this site so he can make the best atmosphere for the fans and bring back tailgating. Everyone acts like he hasn’t poured money into this team even though the stadium offers the lowest revenue of all NFL stadiums. Does he care about money? Yeah of course. But does he care about the fans and the Minnesota Vikings? I think this is an absolute yes as well.

  23. nflinla says: Nov 11, 2011 1:19 AM

    The only team LA wants are the Rams

  24. gbiscottagecheesefatties says: Nov 11, 2011 1:30 AM

    I have 12.5 acres in a local suburb, I’ll let the Vikings build their stadium for free in my backyard. I don’t care where it is, GET IT THE F’ DONE!

  25. minnysoda says: Nov 11, 2011 1:45 AM

    indyseriesnick says:
    Nov 10, 2011 11:41 PM
    I DONT CARE IF ITS IN DOWNTOWN OR A.H.

    Just get a stadium built so Minnesota can enjoy another 25 years of VIKINGS FOOTBALL!!!

    Hell yeah Indy but go for Broke !!!! 46 years of No Superbowl winning VIKINGS FOOTBALL

  26. hauts81 says: Nov 11, 2011 1:57 AM

    “Why would you build a Vikings stadium way the hell outside of Minneapolis? The Vikings and their fans truly are stuck in the 1970s.”

    Arden Hills is less than 10 miles from downtown Minneapolis.

  27. mj5150 says: Nov 11, 2011 2:16 AM

    Arden Hills is the same distance between downtown Mpls & downtown St Paul- It’s just minutes away from both cities in a suburb- it’s NOT out in the country-LMAO- and whoever made the comment about there being a bunch of lakes up there- DUH!!! Minnesota has 10,000 lakes-LOL!!!! Plus Mpls is called the city of lakes- get some facts straight before you make stupid comments-LOL

  28. mj5150 says: Nov 11, 2011 2:18 AM

    apooster says:
    Nov 11, 2011 12:18 AM
    People are failing to point out what you just did Mike. The Vikings prefer the Arden Hills site so Zygi (who has made his billions in real estate) can develop everything around it.

    He’s not pitching in $400 million plus for the stadium, he’s pitching that in to (correct me if I’m wrong) to either get first rights on purchasing all land around the stadium, or will be receiving a majority of the land due to the financial investment he is making.

    Either way it’s a business decision for Zygi, that’s why he prefers the Arden Hills site.
    ————————————————–

    Actually-you ARE wrong- the $430 million is for the stadium- the money for the outer developments are separate

  29. mj5150 says: Nov 11, 2011 2:21 AM

    Little Earthquake says:
    Nov 10, 2011 11:33 PM
    Why would you build a Vikings stadium way the hell outside of Minneapolis? The Vikings and their fans truly are stuck in the 1970s.

    ————————————————–

    if you don’t live here- don’t comment- Arden Hills is a couple minutes from both downtowns- unless it’s rush hour. the site is 10 miles from downtown Mpls- at 60-65 mph speed limits- guess how long it takes to drive to from Mpls……
    the answer is 7-10 minutes

  30. mj5150 says: Nov 11, 2011 2:30 AM

    and would someone please tell me how many NFL teams play in the downtowns of their cities please………………
    PLUS several teams don’t actually play in the city they are named after
    NY Jets (New Jersey)
    NY Giants (New Jersey)
    Dallas (Arlington)
    Washington (Landover Maryland)
    Buffalo (Orchard Park)
    Miami (Miami Gardens)

    and these teams play in outer areas and NOT located in major cities
    Arizona (Glendale)
    New England (Foxborough

  31. dumplingsrbrown says: Nov 11, 2011 3:17 AM

    Soulman45 says:
    Nov 11, 2011 12:08 AM
    Frist to say Welcome to Calf.

    Way to make California a warm and welcoming destination! Spell much?

  32. fmwarner says: Nov 11, 2011 3:41 AM

    vikingsguy says: Nov 11, 2011 12:19 AM

    How is LA funding their new stadium? I thought CA was beyond broke.
    ====================================

    While funding is not yet secure, both stadium plans in LA are 100% privately funded.

  33. jessethegreat says: Nov 11, 2011 3:47 AM

    I can’t say I blame Zigy on this one. Minneapolis is riddled with crime and low income residents. Put the stadium in a place where people actually have money to spend. The Vikings business (not just the team and its functions, but the infrastructure around it) would be better served in a place where people want to go.

  34. stellarperformance says: Nov 11, 2011 6:49 AM

    The Vikings do not want fans to be able to park where they want, use (already) available public transportation to avoid parking fees, and to be able to spend their money at nearby bars and restaurants downtown. They prefer a captive audience that must purchase everything from them instead. It would be best for fans and non-fans alike to be downtown. If you want to engage support from the fans and citizens, make it about them, not (another) privileged one-percenter.

  35. dd393 says: Nov 11, 2011 7:15 AM

    buffalosaint says: Nov 10, 2011 11:58 PM

    Just looked at this Arden Hills on a map to see how rural it really is and wow there really are a ton of lakes up there.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That would be great for booking Love Boat cruises. All that’s needed is a safe house for abused women and the Vikings would be all set.

  36. gb4mn0 says: Nov 11, 2011 7:56 AM

    corchamp says:
    Nov 11, 2011 12:15 AM
    This whole situation is stupid.

    ——————————–

    So what’s new? We are talking about the vikequeens here after all.

  37. theytukrjobs says: Nov 11, 2011 8:15 AM

    It’s simple. Zygi was willing to commit the third largest private contribution in NFL history to a stadium in Arden Hills because it would allow him to generate a larger amount of revenue. He would get parking proceeds. That alone is enough.

    A downtown site is workable but MN politicians can’t possibly be stupid enough to expect him to give the same exact contribution for a different stadium in a different location, where he receives less money. The downtown site does provide more benefit to “non-Vikings” events.

    I have never went to a Vikings game without tailgating. It is a blast. But the lots are sparse and really only enough for maybe 15% of the fans to enjoy.

    My only fear about Arden though is that Zygi could get really greedy with the trapped audience out there. Then again MN people are pretty astute and would probably just not go to the game if parking was unreasonable; not until they changed it.

  38. gb4mn0 says: Nov 11, 2011 8:25 AM

    mj5150 says:
    Nov 11, 2011 2:21 AM
    Little Earthquake says:
    Nov 10, 2011 11:33 PM
    Why would you build a Vikings stadium way the hell outside of Minneapolis? The Vikings and their fans truly are stuck in the 1970s.

    ————————————————–

    if you don’t live here- don’t comment- Arden Hills is a couple minutes from both downtowns- unless it’s rush hour. the site is 10 miles from downtown Mpls- at 60-65 mph speed limits- guess how long it takes to drive to from Mpls……
    the answer is 7-10 minutes

    ———————————–
    This is hilarious. I’ve lost count the number of times these childish vikequeen twits try to brow beat and chastise other posters for commenting on MN issues and even having the gall to tell them to bud out. I’m speechless and the level of lunacy that seems to be a hallmark characteristic of the lavender Larry’s.

    OK mj5150 you’re forbidden from commenting on anything even remotely related to the 13 Champion GB Packers.

  39. jimmysee says: Nov 11, 2011 8:29 AM

    Zygi Wilf has been Mr. Nice Guy throughout this entire process putting up with the political imbeciles and mental midgets of the state government.

    Now that he has alternatives, like Los Angeles, and the clock is running down, it is indeed time to start flexing his own muscle.

    Wilf is playing this process like Heifetz.

  40. bmue42 says: Nov 11, 2011 8:30 AM

    how does it feel to slowly watch your team slip away from you hahahahahaha

  41. fwippel says: Nov 11, 2011 8:37 AM

    Two things:

    1. The Metrodome lease is NOT going to be extended by a year because of a clause in the original agreement. To see the state politicians try to pull those kind of gimmicks off will only serve to make sure Mr. Wilf moves his team elsewhere, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t blame him for doing so. Trying to use the fact that the ‘dome was so cheaply built that heavy snowstorm would collapse it’s roof to force the Vikings to commit to another year is a bush league stunt unworthy of an NFL city. If you want Mr. Wilf to leave, keep insulting him with stunts like this.

    2. The city of Minneapolis has put off the Vikings for more than a decade. Only after Wilf came up with the Arden Hills site did they step forward. The city of Minneapolis is a day late, and several hundred million dollars short.

  42. fmlizard says: Nov 11, 2011 8:53 AM

    Wilf wants to build some huge suburban sprawl retail complex next to the stadium. You would think he would know that…

    The Twin Cities have more retail sq footage than any other metro area per capita.

    More and more purchases are inexorably moving online.

    The average consumer is watching their income stagnate or decline.

    There already is an enormous retail and entertainment complex in the TC…and his current digs are named for it.

  43. romoscollarbone says: Nov 11, 2011 9:14 AM

    I checked google maps, Arden Hills appears to be about 10mi away from downtown Minneapolis. In the amount of time it would take to construct a stadium, they could also probably build a light rail line to get people to the location.

  44. The Phantom Stranger says: Nov 11, 2011 9:16 AM

    I remember when the dome was built and everyone complained because there wasn’t any parking. Now I hear people complaining that they’ll have to park right next to the stadium and get to tailgate.

  45. spikeit2times says: Nov 11, 2011 9:34 AM

    Like many others have pointed out; Arden Hills is NOT “rural”.

    But another thing; Minnesota politicians continually talk about creating jobs in this down economy. If Wilf intends to buy up the surriunding AH land for development; how is that a bad thing? Does all that possible development not help create jobs. And I’m not just talking about the Stadium; jobs will be created by the stadium no matter what site. But if the AH site is developed; that’s a crap load of good jobs. To say Wilf is selfish because he wants to develop the land??? LMAO! You people who against the AH site really need to pull your heads out of … what ever hole you’ve gottent hem stuck in.

  46. bobnelsonjr says: Nov 11, 2011 10:10 AM

    The NFL has to be notified of a franchise move by February 15th, less than a 100 days away.

    It is about 58 days days until the Minnesota State Legislature begins to meet.

    That leaves less than 40 days for two houses of elected officials to have hearings and testimony and request the various environmental impact, traffic, and bugetary studies done. Some of those days are weekends.

    They all have to give speeches on the issue before their can be a vote and even then there are conference committees to iron out the differences between the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate bills.

    They have much more impotant things to work out than a silly stadium. The state is over 5 billion in debt.

    Good luck trying to rush government. One has to wonder why the vikings waited until last May to even put forward this Arden Hills plan for a stadium the same size as the metrodome.

  47. dcwarpath says: Nov 11, 2011 10:17 AM

    Please tell me you people are kidding when complaining about the stadium location. Your owner is offering $400 million to build a brand new stadium for your team and it will located less than 20 miles from downtown Minneapolis. Seems like a great deal…

    I am a Redskins fan and do any of you think the stadium is in Washington DC? No, its not even in that state. It’s in Landover, MD way outside the city.

    The owner will build around the stadium to give the fans things to do. Think new restaurants, bars, more parking etc. Get off your high horse. Owning the team is his job and he wants to give fans the best experience possible while maintaining profits. I see no issue with what he wants and if Minneapolis refuses we could be talking about the LA Vikings in a few years…. Is that really what you fans want?

  48. dtrb10 says: Nov 11, 2011 12:17 PM

    @nfcnorth2011

    Who are you to blame the fans for this you freaking tool. What do you think? The fans have something to do with this? This is our freaking politicians and nothing more. There are 2 million TV’s in MN tuned in everytime the Vikings play and that is just in MN. You sir need to be paintbrushed three times.

  49. christinamer says: Nov 11, 2011 11:43 PM

    First off all – those yakking about building a stadium “so far” outside of Minneapolis… Arden Hills is about 10-15 minutes outside of Minneapolis. Know what you’re talking about.

    Secondly, can someone PLEASE add to this story what Zygi Wilf said about paying no attention to what’s going on with the stadium/NFL situations outside of Minnesota and he is 110% committed to getting the stadium done HERE. This little bit where you insert “Los Angeles” into every Vikings story is getting really old.

  50. clintonportisheadd says: Nov 12, 2011 10:17 PM

    My oh my. Gotta love the blind allegiance to a perennial also-ran exhibited here by Vikings fans.

    Wilf wants the Arden Hills location (never mind the still unknown costs to clean up the massively polluted site) for the obvious reason-he can snatch up the surrounding land cheap. However the powers that be in the Capital will NEVER allow that to happen. Witness how they just blew up Ramsey County’s plan to tax the locals without a referendum vote. Trust me-Arden Hills is never going to happen.

    The pols at the Capital that are willing to engage in corporate welfare (and they may never get their colleagues to join them by the way) are going to make any deal with Wilf contingent on the Vikes staying in Minneapolis (most likely at the Farmers Market site)

    Wilf will have 3 choices when the dust settles-1) stay in Minneapolis to get a state handout 2) Pay for his palace himself like Kraft did with the Patriots or 3) head to L.A,

  51. Little Earthquake says: Nov 12, 2011 11:56 PM

    From Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune:

    Wilf is correct in his letter. Arden Hills is the best possible site for a Vikings stadium — if what we have as our main concerns is Zygi being able to collect $40 per car for thousands of cars on game Sundays, and for Zygi to be able to develop the rest of the large acreage with retail, lodging and offices.

    You can’t blame Wilf for pushing this, not when remembering that Zygi might own a football team but in his chest beats the heart of a commercial real estate developer.

    If the goal for the folks at the State Capitol is to give the Wilfs
    everything they would want in a stadium site as team owners and land developers, it’s Arden Hills in a walk.

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