Tag:Vikings new stadium
Posted on: December 25, 2011 8:27 pm
 

Report: Vikings close to a deal to stay in MIN

WilfBy Josh Katzowitz

The NFL still seems awfully intent on moving a team to Los Angeles, but it sounds like that team won’t be the Minnesota Vikings. That’s the word from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who reported on NBC’s Football Night in America that the Vikings and Minnesota officials are close to a deal that would keep the team where it’s always been.

This has been a long drawn-out process for the people of Minnesota.

The Vikings have been trying to build a new stadium in Arden Hills, but even though the team, the state and the county all promised money for the stadium, a new facility was about $100 million short. Then, there was talk that a new stadium might be built within the Minneapolis city limits, which would be less expensive but not what the Vikings officials wanted.

The Vikings and L.A.
But considering the Vikings lease with the Metrodome was set to expire (though there was talk that the lease might have contained a clause that would keep the Vikings in their current stadium for another season), it behooved the state to get this deal done.

While owner Zygi Wilf has made it clear he wants to stay in the Minneapolis area, if L.A., with its promise of glitz, glam and a new stadium, puts the full-court press on the Vikings ownership, there’s little question the Vikings would have to listen.

And when you’re listening to somebody who’s trying to woo you, anything can happen.

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Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:18 pm
 

Could the Vikings be forced to stay another year?

Minnesota's lease with the Metrodome is supposed to end after this season (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Minnesota Vikings clearly want to get the heck out of the Metrodome. Their lease with the 29-year-old building expires at the end of this season, and considering the roof caved in (!) last year, you could understand why the franchise would be happy never to play there again after 2011.

But the Minneapolis Star Tribune has some bad news. The Vikings might have to play in the dome for another season, because of a clause in their lease with the Metrodome.

The Vikings and L.A.
According to the paper, the clause in the lease contends that if the Vikings have to play home games at a different venue -- say, for instance, because the roof caves in -- the team has to stay in the lease for an additional season. The organization disagrees, and it appears that the two sides might have to fight it out in court, which then could stall momentum for a new stadium in the Minneapolis area.

"It is not in the state's or anyone's best interest to look for any reason to further delay a stadium solution," team vice president Lester Bagley said.

The truth is, though, the stadium solution has stagnated, because the team could wind up $350 million short to build a new stadium in Arden Hills and because that potential stadium wouldn’t be started or completed any time soon.

That discomfort caused the Vikings to release a statement on Wednesday, saying, they “are concerned about the turn of events surrounding a stadium solution in Minnesota. While we have been encouraged by the efforts of Governor Dayton and the four caucus leaders to seriously discuss this issue, these recent developments are very disappointing. The Vikings stadium issue has been heavily debated in the public for over 10 years. With less than 90 days left on the team’s lease, the urgency to act is on us.”

More from the paper on what this clause means:
The commission's 1979 lease agreement between the Vikings and the commission requires the team to play at the Metrodome for 30 years. A clause buried deep in the agreement specifies that if the Metrodome is damaged and the team is forced to play elsewhere for even part of a season, they are obligated to play an additional full season at the Dome.

Called the Force Majeure clause, it states in part that: "For each football season, or part of football season, while this Agreement is suspended, the term of this Agreement ... shall be extended by one football season."

Force majeure translates from French as a superior force. In U.S. legal parlance, it means an unavoidable circumstance or accident.

Whether a court finds that the two home games the Vikings had to play elsewhere -- one at the University of Minnesota’s stadium and one in Detroit -- constitutes that the team must stay another season could be the deciding factor. But either way, the city, state and team need to figure out how to get a new stadium built.

Otherwise, those smoggy lights of Los Angeles will continue to look mighty appealing.

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Posted on: November 2, 2011 8:03 pm
 

Vikings 'concerned' with response to new stadium

Farmers FieldPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Could the Vikings be inching closer to possibly leaving Minnesota and moving somewhere else? Like, to say, Los Angeles?

We’ve written about the possibilities of building a new stadium in Minnesota to house the Vikings once the lease with the Metrodome is complete after this year, but the fight to secure money to actually build a new stadium has stagnated.

And the Vikings are not pleased about it, issuing a terse statement Wednesday night that read the team is “concerned” about the matter and that the public has had 10 years to debate the issues.

As the AP reported Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton had pledged not to raise taxes in order to secure the additional funding for a new stadium. Stadium supporters on the Ramsey County Board had proposed to raise the sales tax by a half-cent in order to raise $350 million needed, but Dayton said he won’t allow that.

That means, a vote by the citizenry can’t be held until November 2012 on whether to raise the taxes. The two problems with that? That’s long after the Vikings organization wants construction to begin on a new site, and there’s a good chance voters wouldn’t approve the tax increase anyway.

The Vikings and L.A.
The proposed site in Arden Hills would cost about $1.1 billion, and the state and the team have pledged to donate their fair share to the project -- Minnesota would put in no more than $300 million and the Vikings $407 million. But they’re about $350 million short, and if the voters don’t want to pay their share, a new stadium could be built at a different, cheaper Minneapolis-area location. Or the Vikings could move the team altogether.

Here’s the Vikings take on the matter, released in that statement Wednesday evening.

“The Vikings are concerned about the turn of events surrounding a stadium solution in Minnesota. While we have been encouraged by the efforts of Governor Dayton and the four caucus leaders to seriously discuss this issue, these recent developments are very disappointing. The Vikings stadium issue has been heavily debated in the public for over 10 years. With less than 90 days left on the team’s lease, the urgency to act is on us.  The Vikings continue to stand ready to work with State leaders on a stadium solution that works for Minnesota and the team.”

Otherwise, the West Coast might start to look awfully appealing.

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