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Vikings, University of Minnesota deal says TCF Bank Stadium could be used for up to four years

TCF-Bank-Stadium Getty Images

On Thursday, the legislative and executive branches of the Minnesota government finalized a deal to build a new stadium for the Vikings.  Also on Thursday, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota finalized a deal to play games at TCF Bank Stadium during a portion of the time that the new venue is being built.

Technically, it’s a letter of intent that must be signed by University president Eric Kaler before it becomes official.

The letter of intent specifies that the Vikings will reimburse the university for all changes made to TCF Bank Stadium, and all expenses related to the franchise’s use of the facility.  The Viking also will pay rent in the amount of $250,000 per game played at TCF Bank Stadium, and the Vikings will share a portion of “additional concessions and sponsorship revenues.”

But here’s the thing that caught our (or at least my) attention.  The announcement from the University of Minnesota doesn’t specify the number of games the Vikings will play at TCF Bank Stadium, instead identifying the following range of possibilities: “The Vikings may lease TCF Bank Stadium for up to four consecutive NFL seasons anticipated to start in 2013; or, they can play at the facility for all or part of one NFL season, anticipated to be the 2015 season.”

It could be that the agreement was intended to be broad in order to protect the Vikings against unforeseen complications in the construction of the new stadium.  It also could be that, in reality, there’s no practical way to build the new stadium next to the existing Metrodome with only a brief abandonment of the old Metrodome needed in order to finish the job.

The Vikings surely prefer not to have an extended stay at TCF Bank Stadium, but the ultimate goal was/is to get a stadium built.  Based on the terms of the announcement from the University of Minnesota, the Vikings — and more importantly the fans who fought so hard for the new stadium — should at least prepare for the possibility that the Vikings will play at TCF Bank Stadium for  “up to four consecutive NFL seasons.”

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28 Responses to “Vikings, University of Minnesota deal says TCF Bank Stadium could be used for up to four years”
  1. hunst009 says: May 11, 2012 6:38 AM

    The big question is will they be allowed to sell alcohol?

  2. stayclassyasheville says: May 11, 2012 6:44 AM

    But will there be beer in TCF?! Skol!

  3. shadowman1433 says: May 11, 2012 6:59 AM

    Why can other teams build stadiums and move into them with no problem but the vikings have this last minute rush to even get a stadium approved? Why didn’t anyone from the vikings think far enough ahead to realize their leasse at the metrodump was running out? It seems like a very poorly run organazation.

  4. lmh1194 says: May 11, 2012 9:15 AM

    Yes, they will sell alcohol. That legislation was passed several weeks ago and sort of got buried with the recent stadium debates.

    And the Vikings have been after a new stadium for the last 10+ years so it’s not like they just waited until this year.

    I am wondering if they will install heating coils at TCF Bank Stadium as part of this agreement?

  5. smittee22 says: May 11, 2012 9:22 AM

    shadowman1433 says: May 11, 2012 6:59 AM

    Why can other teams build stadiums and move into them with no problem but the vikings have this last minute rush to even get a stadium approved? Why didn’t anyone from the vikings think far enough ahead to realize their leasse at the metrodump was running out? It seems like a very poorly run organazation.
    —————————————————
    This does not fall on the Vikings. The organization was trying for the last decade of their lease to get a new stadium. The MN legislature is what pushed the stadium issue until the very last possible moment.

  6. eeeznutz says: May 11, 2012 9:25 AM

    shadowman1433, I hope you’re joking. The Vikes have been trying to get this deal done for over a decade. Oh, and it’s ‘lease.’

  7. 7ransponder says: May 11, 2012 9:26 AM

    hunst009 says:
    May 11, 2012 6:38 AM
    The big question is will they be allowed to sell alcohol?

    ——————————

    The answer is yes. They passed a bill that allows the sale of alcohol this past session.

  8. Justin says: May 11, 2012 9:27 AM

    To everyone asking about the beer. Yes. they approved the sale of alcohol at TCF stadium not too long ago.

  9. conormacleod says: May 11, 2012 9:30 AM

    I’m sure it will be posted many times, but it was the organization that didn’t have the forethought, it was the Minnesota State Legislature. The Vikings have been trying to get a new stadium for a decade, but the leaders of Minnesota always stonewalled them.

  10. purplecrowe says: May 11, 2012 9:33 AM

    hunst009 says:
    May 11, 2012 6:38 AM
    The big question is will they be allowed to sell alcohol?

    Alcohol sales at the Bank was approved about a month ago, all in anticipation of the stadium deal…

  11. cdanczak says: May 11, 2012 9:36 AM

    “additional concessions and sponsorship revenues.”
    – meaning beer will be sold?

  12. poofy1800 says: May 11, 2012 9:38 AM

    Shadowman1433: do your own research before commenting with your uninformed opinions and poorly run mouth. This wasn’t last minute. The team was pushing for a stadium for well over a decade. Politics made this last minute.

  13. slvrbullet86 says: May 11, 2012 9:40 AM

    shadowman1433 says:
    May 11, 2012 6:59 AM
    Why can other teams build stadiums and move into them with no problem but the vikings have this last minute rush to even get a stadium approved? Why didn’t anyone from the vikings think far enough ahead to realize their leasse at the metrodump was running out? It seems like a very poorly run organazation.
    —————————————————-
    I don’t know if you’re completely uneducated or just simply an idiot, but the Vikings have been pointing to their expiring lease for at least as long as the Wilf’s have owned the team. The issue here has always been the unwillingness from the legislature to even consider a bill. Just a few years ago our idiot governor killed a potential deal by himself because of a supreme court ruling against moves that he had personally made. The ineptitude and inefficiency of our government had been the biggest rode block, mainly because it is made up of people like yourself who start talking before they completely understand the facts.

  14. wjf010 says: May 11, 2012 9:40 AM

    shadowman1433 says:May 11, 2012 6:59 AM

    Why can other teams build stadiums and move into them with no problem but the vikings have this last minute rush to even get a stadium approved? Why didn’t anyone from the vikings think far enough ahead to realize their leasse at the metrodump was running out? It seems like a very poorly run organazation.

    ********

    Stupid comment. Don’t speak of what you don’t know.

    They’ve been trying to get a new stadium for almost 10 years in anticipation of the lease running out.

    They need to use TCF Bank Stadium because the new stadium will be built where the Metrodome is currently located. About 1/2 of the new stadium will be outside of the footprint of the Metrodome, so they hope to not need TCF for more than 2 years.

  15. jimbotmn says: May 11, 2012 9:41 AM

    shadowman1433: You clearly have not been paying much attention to what’s actually been going on here for the last few years. But thanks for making sure you get your shots in regardless.

  16. shiftyshellshocked says: May 11, 2012 10:01 AM

    After twenty years as a season ticket holder I’ll finally get to go outside to watch a game. Couldn’t make it a couple years back when The bears killed us and Favre.

  17. bisonaudit says: May 11, 2012 10:07 AM

    Perhaps the ability to use TCF if necessary gives the Vikings some leverage in negotiating the Metrodome lease they’re going to need for the next two or three seasons?

  18. craggt says: May 11, 2012 10:08 AM

    This is a huge win for the university. This guarantees them free upgrades to their facilites, a minimum of $2.5MM a year in rent (including the preseason games) plus a cut of the concessions. If tuition/room and board costs $25,000 a year this could provide full scholarships for 100 students a year based upon the rent alone.

  19. drbob117 says: May 11, 2012 10:44 AM

    Hey, since the alcohol thing is no longer a factor, all they have to do is add about 15,000 seats to TCF , the Vikes will have a huge homefield advantage( outdoor, middle of winter) and they won’t have to build a new stadium at all. I mean this one opened in what, 2009?

  20. threedeep1998 says: May 11, 2012 10:59 AM

    I’m personally stoked for games at TCF!

  21. 2quart says: May 11, 2012 11:02 AM

    Shifty, I was at the game at TCF Stadium. Even tho we got stomped, it was the most fun I’ve had a a game, since Ap ran for 296 against the Chargers. Hopefully, Ziggy will throw in the extra $50 mil pocket change to put in a retractable roof. My dream job is to help build a Vikings stadium. I spent 9 months at TCF, so aleast I got to help build one where the purple will play.
    It is good to see that all those politicians, who when campaigning talked about job creation, finally created some jobs. And with 6 months to spare before the next election. Who ever said they put everything off until the last minute?

  22. pirkmynirk says: May 11, 2012 11:10 AM

    For all the people who were caught up in ONLY the stadium bill, the MN legislature passed a bill allowing alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium. So no worries. We can still get drunk and rowdy at the Vikings games (and gopher games, how hot is your chili)

  23. squared80 says: May 11, 2012 11:11 AM

    The locker rooms at TCF Bank Stadium are nicer than most NFL locker rooms. That’s no joke – they are impressive.

  24. cswenson218 says: May 11, 2012 1:29 PM

    I’m almost more fired up about them playing some outdoor games at the U than I am about the new stadium.

  25. stavreafavre says: May 11, 2012 3:54 PM

    Now if they can arrange to schedule only college opponents… Watch out for North Dakota State though!

  26. bobnelsonjr says: May 11, 2012 11:18 PM

    They might just avoid the black outs playing in a stadium that only holds 50,000.

  27. cubear34 says: May 14, 2012 2:38 AM

    @lmh1194 wants to know if they are going to install heating coils at tcf. What a wuss. Green bay has survived for many years without crying about the weather and the weather and there is almost identical to minneapolis. God forbid you should get a chill. Maybe they’ll have hot chocolate and a warm blankie for you.

  28. poofy1800 says: May 14, 2012 8:56 AM

    Cubear34: Dont make ridiculous comments. If you’re not sure on your level of knowledge regarding any matter you should try googling for facts rather than making yourself look like an idiot. Lambeau Field has had heating coils since 1996. All NFL cold weather stadiums do.

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