Today the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) reached agreement on two critical documents related to the new stadium set to open in 2016. Both the Development Agreement, which will guide the construction of the new stadium until completion, and the Use Agreement (i.e. lease), which will govern the team's 30-plus years at the facility, are crucial for delivering the stadium on time and on budget.
"Finalizing these documents is a significant milestone for the stadium project," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "Their completion brings us that much closer to stadium groundbreaking this fall and the 2016 opening of the fans’ new home for Vikings football. More importantly, we can now put thousands of Minnesotans back to work building what will be a significant asset for the State of Minnesota."
The very detailed documents cover multiple areas (click here for details on the Stadium Development Agreement and click here for the Stadium Use Agreement), but of particular interest to Vikings fans will be one element contained within the Development Agreement: the parameters of a Stadium Builder's Licenses (SBL) program as a finance tool for the stadium project.
SBLs are one-time fees that guarantee Season Ticket Owners will own their seats for a defined term as long as they continue to purchase tickets, and in some cases will provide rights to non-Vikings events at the stadium. SBL programs have been used to help finance construction of more than half of all stadium projects throughout the NFL and include benefits for fans. SBLs were thoroughly discussed and vetted throughout the legislative process here in Minnesota and ultimately authorized as a stadium project finance option in May 2012.
The parameters are only the initial step in developing and introducing a final SBL program in the near future; however, the following points are expected to highlight the program, which will be authorized by the MSFA:
-25% of stadium capacity, including approximately 12,000 seats, will not include an SBL
-Various pricing zones will be established.
-More than 10,000 seats with an SBL will be priced at $1,000 or less
-Expected average one-time SBL price of $2,500
-Approximately 80% of seats with SBLs will be priced at $3,000 or less
-Maximum price for an individual SBL will be no higher than $10,000
-At least two financing options will be available to make easier, interest-free payments:
1) An equal installment payment plan, with a down-payment at signing, interest-free prior to the stadium's completion
2) A finance plan over multiple years, with a down-payment at signing, interest-free prior to the stadium's completion, which would be available for five years
-Maximum gross SBL program of $125 million toward the stadium project
-Current Season Ticket Owners will have an option to purchase comparable seats prior to non-Season Ticket Owners.
-Current seat location and tenure (known as seniority) with the team as a Season Ticket Owner will be key drivers to determining the SBL program's priority system
-SBL holders will experience a significantly improved game day atmosphere compared to what exists in the Metrodome today.
This is only the initial step in developing and introducing a final SBL program. Now that the parameters have been established, the team and the Authority will begin work to finalize and introduce a Stadium Builder’s License program. In the meantime, check out this Q&A, as well as this recent article from Minnesota Public Radio, for a better understanding on SBLs. To receive more information on the new stadium or find out how to be placed on a waitlist, please click here.