University of Minnesota and Minnesota Vikings reach preliminary agreement for Vikings' use of TCF Bank Stadium
May 10, 2012
The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a Letter of Intent which allows the Vikings’ use of TCF Bank Stadium during potential construction at the current Metrodome site of a new stadium for the National Football League franchise. Subject to Board of Regents approval at its meeting tomorrow, university President Eric Kaler may sign the Letter of Intent in the next few days.
The Letter of Intent provides that the Vikings will reimburse the university for all changes they require for TCF Bank Stadium, and all non-game day expenses and game-day operational expenses related to the franchise’s use of the facility. In addition, the Vikings will pay rent to the university and share a portion of additional concessions and sponsorship revenues.
“The Minnesota Vikings are an important asset to the state and we were pleased to work with them on reaching a mutually beneficial arrangement to host them on our campus,” Kaler said. “The Vikings will remain part of the Twin Cities region during construction of their new stadium, while the proceeds from this arrangement will be invested in our athletic department to enhance Gopher sports.”
Hosting Vikings games at TCF Bank Stadium not only will affect the campus, but also will impact surrounding neighborhoods. Throughout talks with the Vikings, university leaders have emphasized addressing concerns of campus neighbors.
“The university is committed to proactively addressing stadium and campus operational issues and to minimizing any potential impact on the university community and our neighbors,” Kaler said. “For Vikings games at TCF Bank Stadium, the university will control stadium and campus operations and will exercise the same level of care for traffic and noise management, litter control and public safety as is our standard for Gopher events.”
The Vikings also will appoint a representative to serve as the franchise’s contact and neighborhood liaison. Additionally, the team will make a contribution to the existing neighborhood mitigation fund.
Under the agreement, the Vikings will pay the university a fixed fee of $250,000 per game. In addition, concessions, sponsorship and advertising dollars will be divided between the parties under the terms of the Letter of Intent, said university General Counsel Mark Rotenberg. He stated that the additional revenue to the university is expected to be $50,000 per game, resulting in a combined rent and expected concessions and sponsorship revenue amount of $300,000 per game, or $3 million per regular NFL season.
The Letter of Intent provides the following:
TCF Bank Stadium changes
- Installation of specialized heating coils under the playing surface.
- Installation of temporary bleacher-style seats in the western end zone plaza. Any new seating is subject to approval by the university’s building code division.
Duration of lease and days of play
- Two scenarios are allowed. 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. A standard NFL season includes 10 football games (two preseason and eight regular season games), plus any home playoff games.
- TCF Bank Stadium will be available for Sunday games only and one weeknight game per season, on a date that must be approved by the university.
- The Vikings will work with the NFL to minimize scheduling conflicts with the university’s intercollegiate athletic activities and other campus events.
- The terms of alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium during Vikings games are subject to Board of Regents approval at a later date. Governor Dayton signed legislation April 27, 2012 that returns full authority to the Board of Regents with respect to the sale of alcoholic beverages during intercollegiate athletic events at the Stadium, Williams Arena, and Mariucci Arena, so long as the university provides for the sale of alcohol to the general public at a convenient location in the Stadium at least through half-time during intercollegiate football games. This legislation expires July 1, 2014.
Copies of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents resolution and the Letter of Intent will be available at the Board of Regents meeting tomorrow. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at 600 McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street S.E., Minneapolis.