A proposed agreement between the Vikings and University of Minnesota will have the Vikings pay for any capital upgrades needed for the club’s stay at the university’s football stadium, with weather-related building improvements among the expected changes.
The agreement, details of which were disclosed by the Vikings Thursday, would allow the Vikings to play in TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. It also gives the club the option to extend its stay through 2017 “with proper notification,” according to the Vikings. The Vikings are building a new stadium to replace the domed Mall of America Field, which is reportedly to be torn down in 2014.
By contrast, TCF Bank Stadium is open-air. According to the Vikings, a heating system will need to be installed underneath the field. Improvements to the plumbing for cold weather will also be needed. The turf will need to be replaced, and insulation is to be added to parts of the stadium.
Also, temporary seating could be added to the stadium, which seats 50,720 people — a small capacity for an NFL arena. The Metrodome, by comparison, seats 64,111 patrons.
According to the agreement, the Vikings will pay the university $250,000 in rent and will contribute $50,000 in other revenue per game in 2014 and 2015. All told, the team will give the university a maximum of $3 million in 2014 and 2015 in addition to the reimbursement of the capital expenses needed to get the stadium ready for NFL play.
The agreement between the university and Vikings is to be voted upon by the university’s governing board on Friday.