The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms on a Facility Use Agreement that allows the Vikings to use TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons. The agreement also allows for two additional seasons, if necessary.
The agreement is subject to approval by the University’s Board of Regents, which will vote on the proposal during its meeting Friday, May 10.
"We’re pleased to enter into an agreement with the Vikings to allow them to play at TCF Bank Stadium," said Vice President for University Services Pam Wheelock. "With Board of Regents approval, we plan to start work right away to ensure the facility is ready for the Vikings in 2014."
"This partnership benefits the University, its neighbors, the Vikings and all Minnesota football fans," said University President Eric Kaler. "The Vikings will remain part of the Twin Cities region during construction of their new stadium, while proceeds will be used to enhance Gopher Athletics and invest in the fabric of our surrounding neighborhoods."
The use agreement stipulates that the Vikings will reimburse the University for any required TCF Bank Stadium capital improvements, as well as all game-day operational expenses. In addition, the Vikings will pay the University a per-game rent of $250,000 for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, with minimal increases if additional seasons were to be required. The team will also share $50,000 per game in concessions, advertising and sponsorship revenue. In total, the Vikings will pay the University $300,000 per game, with a maximum of $3 million for each NFL season.
"This collaborative process between the Vikings and the University has led to an agreement that will benefit all parties," said Vikings Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Warren. "With this agreement solidified, we can now move forward on finalizing a plan that ensures the Vikings provide a great game day experience for our players, coaches and fans while having a positive impact on the University and the surrounding neighborhoods."
"We appreciate the University’s commitment to host the Vikings while the new downtown stadium is being constructed," said Vikings Owner and President Mark Wilf. "We look forward to hosting our fans in TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and 2015."
The agreement also includes the creation of a Minnesota Vikings Good Neighbor Partnership Fund, which will be established and administered through the existing University Good Neighbor Fund. The Vikings will contribute $125,000 per NFL season, a combination of cash and in-kind contributions, to the Partnership Fund, which will be used to implement tangible and visible projects during the years the Vikings play at TCF Bank Stadium. The projects selected must be beneficial to the nearby neighborhoods and businesses, allow for participation by the Vikings and their partners and be approved by the Vikings.
The Facility Use Agreement stipulates the following:
Lease Duration/Scheduling Restrictions
The Vikings are expected to play at TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, but the agreement allows for use through the 2017 season with proper notification.
- 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 as well as for Saturday games when there is not a conflict with a scheduled Gopher football home game. The Vikings may play one weeknight game per season when University classes are not in session and on a date approved by the University.
- The Vikings will work with the NFL to minimize conflicts with the University’s academic calendar, intercollegiate athletic activities and other campus events.
Along with reimbursing the University for all Vikings game day expenses, the team will provide $3 million annually in compensation:
- $250,000 rent per game.
- $50,000 share of concessions, advertising and sponsorship revenue per game.
Certain improvements to TCF Bank Stadium are necessary for winter stadium operation and to meet specific NFL mandates, including:
- Installation of new turf and an appropriate heating element for the playing surface to be determined by Vikings and University officials.
- Installation of heat trace pipe to ensure cold weather plumbing functionality.
- Potential installation of additional temporary seating in the western end zone plaza, subject to approval by the University’s building code division (number of seats yet to be determined by Vikings and University officials).
- Any necessary modification of existing video platform to meet NFL broadcast requirements.
- Installation of additional insulation in various locations around TCF Bank Stadium.
- Build-out storage space within TCF Bank Stadium.
Alcohol sales and consumption will be allowed in TCF Bank Stadium on Vikings game days, subject to Board of Regents policies and restrictions.
Tailgating will be allowed in parking lots designated by the University under the same rules in effect for University football game days.