Below you will find the latest new Vikings stadium Q&A, updated on January 27, 2014. Click the links below to jump to various sections of the Q&A.
NEW VIKINGS STADIUM CONSTRUCTION
NEW VIKINGS STADIUM DESIGN/FAN EXPERIENCE
NEW VIKINGS STADIUM COST AND FINANCING
NEW VIKINGS STADIUM OPERATION AND USES
VIKINGS 2014 AND 2015 SEASONS AT UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
NEW VIKINGS STADIUM TICKETS AND STADIUM BUILDER’S LICENSES
What are the latest developments on design and construction?
After getting both the stadium architect (HKS Sports and Entertainment Group) and builder (Mortenson Construction) on board, the stadium’s schematic design was unveiled on May 13, 2013. An exciting ceremonial groundbreaking took place on December 3, 2013, in front of approximately 600 state and local leaders, business and labor representatives and Vikings fans. The Metrodome had the power turned off on January 18, 2014, at which time the roof deflated for the fifth and final time (view time lapse video of deflation here). Construction of the new stadium is already more than 20% complete and continues to move at a rapid pace. Glass installation is scheduled to begin as early as January 2015. You can watch the construction process live here. To see the MSFA’s latest project dashboard, click here.
What is the general construction timeline?
December 2013 – Groundbreaking
January 2014 – Demolition of Metrodome/Concrete frame assembly begins
August 2014 – Steel installation begins
January 2015 – Glass installation begins
Fall 2015 – ETFE roof installation begins
End of 2015 – Stadium is fully enclosed with heating
July 2016 – New stadium opens
Where are the Vikings playing while the new stadium is constructed?
In early 2013, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota negotiated a use agreement allowing the Vikings to play the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium on the university’s campus.
Will there be an emphasis on using local materials when available?
From day one a top priority for both the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) has not only been to build the best multi-purpose stadium in the country but also to have a positive impact for Minnesota companies and workers. Without being required by legislation, HKS, the Vikings and the MSFA brought on more than 20 Minnesota companies or individuals as design subcontractors in areas like interior and exterior design, landscaping, structural engineering and more. And less than a year into construction, more than 200 Minnesota businesses have worked on the project. The stadium’s construction manager, Mortenson Construction, is based in Golden Valley, MN, and the nearly 4.3 million work hours will go primarily to Minnesota construction workers. Whenever possible, local materials will be used throughout this project. For example, the glass and glazed curtain walls on the stadium’s exterior is being manufactured by a Minnesota-based company. Other local products like kasota stone will likely be used for exterior signage or security perimeters, and with various interior design elements and needs, the project group will continue to ensure that Minnesota companies have the opportunity to bid on this project.
Are materials being recycled?
Yes, Mortenson Construction has announced the following recycling facts related to the ongoing demolition process:
Can I watch the new stadium construction process?
Yes, the Vikings have engaged EarthCam to provide three stadium cameras – one live-streaming camera and two high-definition megapixel time-lapse cameras – to document the progress on the stadium project. Each camera offers a unique perspective of the site from the north, south and west sides, enabling project teams to view activity remotely in real-time while documenting the entire process for time-lapse photography. The Vikings will move the cameras as the project proceeds and will consider installing an interior camera later in the project.
What are some of the design elements of the new stadium?
The new Vikings stadium will provide several unique features compared to all other NFL stadiums, including the largest transparent ethylene-tetraflouroethylene (ETFE) roof in the nation and five 95-feet high pivoting glass doors that will open to a nearly three-acre plaza and the Minneapolis downtown skyline. With the stadium’s openness, fans will experience an outdoor feel in a climate-controlled environment. Vikings fans will also be as close to the action as any NFL stadium, with seats just 41 feet from the sideline. Seven levels in the stadium, including two general admission concourses with 360-degree circulation and various views into the bowl, will be connected via escalators, elevators, stairs and a continuous ramp. Two of the largest and highest-quality HD video boards in the NFL will be located in both the east and west end zones, and over 2,000 HD flat screen televisions will be distributed throughout the stadium. Fans will enjoy wider concourses, more restrooms, increased and enhanced concessions, accessibility for fans with disabilities and ample space for pre-game events and activities. The stadium will also include a Vikings Hall of Legends and a team store. Click here for a list of stadium design elements.
How will the stadium compare to the Metrodome?
For a full comparison chart, click here.
What is ETFE?
ETFE is a co-polymer resin that is extruded into a thin film. The plastic-like material is transparent but can be treated to be translucent, is extremely light-weight, very durable and resistant to corrosion. In an architectural application ETFE is typically used in a multi-layer pneumatic system.
What is the life/longevity of ETFE?
ETFE does not degrade with exposure to UV light, atmospheric pollution or extreme temperatures. The material has withstood extensive testing within extreme environments, and is expected to have a 30-50 year life expectancy while requiring minimal maintenance.
How does ETFE handle weight/pressure?
Despite its weight (1/100 the weight of glass) ETFE handles snow/wind loads very well. In sheet form, it can stretch three times its length without losing elasticity.
How do you clean ETFE?
ETFE systems are extremely low maintenance. The surface of the foil is non-stick and non-porous, which allows the natural action of rain to clean the surface. Deposits of dirt, dust and debris remain unattached and are washed away in the rain, meaning ETFE effectively self-cleans with virtually no need to clean externally.
Will snow/ice build up on the roof of the stadium?
Several characteristics of this roof are designed for Minnesota’s climate. First, the slope of the stadium - rising from approximately 205 feet from grade in the east to 272 feet high in the west - will give the building a unique ability to shed snow. Secondly, the translucent ETFE material will allow more sunlight and radiant heat through the roof, which combined with the natural rise of heat from inside the stadium will help melt the snow and ice. Diverters will redirect it into gutters and collection basins located on the edges of the roof, keeping snow and ice from falling to the ground below.
What are some of the most notable facilities in the world using ETFE material? (Photos provided by Vector Foiltec)
WaterCube - Beijing, China
Eden Project – Cornwall UK
Forsyth Barr Stadium - Dunedin, New Zealand
Allianz Arena - Munich, Germany
Click here to read the New Vikings Stadium Q&A article from the spring of 2013 for more on the roof, including photos of the above surfaces provided by Vector Foiltec.
Will the new stadium be loud?
While the final determination on the ETFE’s effect on crowd noise is still being studied, stadium architects say ETFE is a more “acoustically reflective material” than the Metrodome’s fabric roof and “should make the stadium louder.” Furthermore, the new stadium is entirely enclosed, including one half of the roof being a metal deck, and with the closest fans just 41 feet from the sideline, Vikings fans will be as close to the action as any NFL stadium. The difference is that the first row of seats will be elevated an average of seven feet off field level, or roughly twice the typical height of NFL stadiums, giving the fans in the first several rows optimal sightlines and allowing them to be more engaged.
The reality is that fans truly make the difference in terms of noise, which is why stadiums like the Metrodome, Green Bay’s Lambeau Field and Seattle’s CenturyLink Field are some of the toughest for visiting teams to have success. Read ESPN.com’s piece on new stadiums and home field advantage here.
Will tailgating be available at the new stadium?
The Vikings understand how important tailgating is for many fans, and the team is committed to ensuring that the tradition continues when the new stadium opens in 2016. Representatives from the Vikings are currently working with the City of Minneapolis and the surrounding neighborhoods in an effort to expand the City’s existing tailgating zone per the agreement between the State of Minnesota, the City and the Vikings that shaped the final 2012 stadium legislation.
Will there be accessible seating for fans with disabilities?
Yes, the current design calls for 690 wheelchair and companion seats to be located throughout all seating levels of the stadium (in comparison, Mall of America Field had 190 wheelchair and companion seats). That number does not include the accessible seating within the suites, loge spaces and club spaces, or an approximate 140 additional wheelchair spaces. The new stadium will comply with all federal ADA requirements and will be designed to allow patrons with disabilities to enjoy the comforts and amenities of the building.
Will the stadium be LEED certified?
Yes, the Vikings and the Stadium Authority have worked with the architect and construction manager to make the stadium as environmentally and energy efficient as possible. The project design and construction group is committed to building a stadium that will receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. More details related to this will be available as the construction moves forward.
How much will the new stadium cost?
After an original budget of $975 million, the total project cost is now approximately $1.024 billion. The additional $49 million costs are being privately covered by the Vikings in order to ensure that design elements related to the fan experience are kept in the final project. The team/private contribution now includes just over $526 million (51% of stadium capital costs) while the public contribution toward the project remains at $498 million. The team has also now absorbed a total of $23.2 million in costs of playing at the University of Minnesota for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Click here for more information on the additional contribution.
How is the project being financed?
Of the project’s $1.024 billion upfront capital costs, more than $526 million, or 51% of the stadium cost, will be paid by private funds made up of a combination of Vikings private financing and equity and the MSFA’s sale of Stadium Builder’s Licenses (SBLs). The Vikings private financing and equity includes certain NFL financing in the form of a loan repaid by stadium revenues. The Stadium Builder’s Licenses program was authorized by the Minnesota legislature in the 2012 stadium legislation (for more on SBLs, click here).
The remaining $498 million public contribution will be split between the City of Minneapolis ($150 million) and the State of Minnesota ($348 million). The State has issued appropriation bonds in an approximate amount of $462 million and will finance the remainder of the $498 million public contribution with available State funds. The stadium legislation provides that the City’s $150 million contribution will be advanced to the MSFA through the issuance of the appropriation bonds and will be repaid by the City to the State by redirecting a portion of the current “Convention Center Taxes.” The remaining amount of the appropriation bonds will be repaid to the bondholders from other sources available to the state, including the modernization of state-authorized charitable gaming that includes electronic pull-tabs and bingo and a one-time inventory tax on cigarettes, which raised approximately $36 million.
Who will own and operate the stadium?
The stadium will be owned and operated by the MSFA, a public body and political subdivision of the State of Minnesota. This public body is made up of three appointees by the governor and two by the mayor of Minneapolis and includes the following individuals:
Michele Kelm Helgen, Chair
Bill McCarthy, Vice Chair – President, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation
Duane Benson, Treasurer – former State Senator and NFL alum
Barbara Butts-Williams, PhD – Dean of Business, School of Business and Technology, Capella University
John Griffith –Executive Vice President of Property Development, Target
MSFA Executive Staff
Ted Mondale, CEO/Executive Director
Earlier this year the Vikings and the MSFA chose SMG as the new Vikings stadium operator. SMG has extensive experience in operating major sports venues, managing over 200 facilities worldwide, including four NFL stadiums (Soldier Field in Chicago, Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, NRG Stadium in Houston and Everbank Field in Jacksonville).
SMG facilities have hosted nine Super Bowls over the years. The company’s experience in that regard will be a fantastic asset as the new Vikings stadium prepares to host Super Bowl LII in 2018 and other major events. SMG has also committed to work with the Minnesota State High School League, colleges, and community groups to secure events that were previously held in the Metrodome.
The 10-year contract includes an annual $6.75 million revenue guarantee to the publicly-owned stadium, which will allow the MSFA to build and maintain its capital and operating reserves to ensure that this stadium remains a world-class facility.
Who will pay to operate the stadium?
The Stadium will require approximately $17.5 million annually for operating expenses/capital improvement funding, excluding approximately $3.0-$4.5 of Vikings game-day operating expenses, which gives an approximate total annual amount of $20.5-$22.0 million. Of this, the Vikings have committed to contribute $8.5 million for operating expenses (rent), $1.5 million for capital improvements, and approximately $3.0-$4.5 million for game day expenses, a total of $13.0-$14.5 million, or 63%. The City of Minneapolis will annually contribute $7.5 million and SMG will also guarantee $6.75 million in annual revenue to the MSFA to build and maintain its capital and operating reserves.
What types of events will be hosted in the stadium?
The Vikings and the MSFA will maximize the use of the stadium by attracting events that create economical, fiscal and social benefits to the State and local communities, including NCAA competitions, a Super Bowl, college bowl games, concerts, civic, community and not-for-profit events. In May 2014 the first major event for the new stadium was secured when the National Football League awarded Super Bowl LII to Minnesota during the NFL’s Spring League Meetings. The announcement, which came after several rounds of voting by all 32 NFL owners, was the culmination of months of collaboration by business and community leaders and public officials. Click here to watch Minnesota’s Super Bowl Bid Committee celebrate the victory.
The new stadium is also one of eight finalists to host the NCAA Final Four in 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020 and Mpls-St. Paul officials will make their official presentation to NCAA officials this November.
While the goal will be to attract major events, the MSFA will also continue to host activities consistent with historic operations of the Metrodome, including high school and amateur sports and other community events.
Will the new stadium include a Major League Soccer team?
The new stadium has been designed to accommodate Major League Soccer (MLS), including a soccer pitch that will be 121 x72 yards, typical for MLS facilities. MLS was an important issue for the Vikings, and the Vikings ensured that an opportunity to bring an MLS team into the stadium was included in the stadium legislation. MLS has plans to expand to 24 teams by 2020. Conversations regarding securing a soccer team for this market continue between Vikings representatives and Major League Soccer.
How were Season Ticket Members’ seat assignments at TCF Bank Stadium determined?
Season Ticket Members were assigned seats in TCF Bank Stadium based on the following factors:
To maintain objectivity and treat all parties as fairly as possible, computer simulation models using the above factors and designed to replicate seat patterns from Mall of America Field to TCF Bank Stadium, were utilized in the seat assignment process. It is important to note, however, that the seating configurations between the two stadiums are very unique. For example, the lower bowl at TCF Bank Stadium has 7,000 fewer seats than the lower bowl at Mall of America Field. There are also fewer seats per section, fewer aisle seats and fewer seats per row. Despite those challenges, the Vikings tried to transfer seating in the fairest way possible.
Did the Vikings consult with other NFL teams throughout this process?
The Vikings visited and consulted with NFL teams that have faced similar stadium moves to learn best practices involved with this type of project. The team also hired Turnstyle Ticketing, who has handled a number of relocations, to help guide the process. From this information and having listened carefully to Season Ticket Members in a variety of forums, the Vikings developed a straightforward and fair relocation process.
What were the challenges?
The seating configurations at Mall of America Field and TCF are very unique, making the seats not as easily transferable. The major obstacle was the difference in capacity of approximately 12,000 seats between the two venues. However, the Vikings believe the relocation process that was developed is straightforward, fair and equitable.
Were there enough seats for Season Ticket Members?
Yes, all current Season Ticket Members who wished to renew at the University were accommodated.
Will my seat location at TCF Bank Stadium impact my seat selection priority at the new Vikings stadium?
No, the seat selection priority at the new Vikings stadium will be based on a fan’s 2013 seat location at Mall of America Field.
Will I be able to request seat relocation in TCF Bank Stadium?
Yes, consistent with past renewal procedures, a seat relocation request opportunity exists for TCF Bank Stadium.
Will the new stadium SBL program affect ticketing at TCF Bank Stadium?
No, the new stadium SBL program is independent of the Vikings two seasons at the University of Minnesota.
Will Season Ticket Members be required to purchase seats within TCF Bank Stadium in order to purchase seats at the new stadium?
No, current Season Ticket Members at Mall of America Field will receive priority over new fans on a waitlist and the general public.
What are ticket prices within TCF Bank Stadium?
The nine ticket price options range from $35-139. Some fans saw an increase in prices while others saw a decrease based on the difference in stadiums and the seat allocation process.
Do fans have the option of purchasing seat backs?
Yes, fans have an opportunity to purchase seat backs like they do for Gophers games. Click here for more information.
What were the stadium improvements/modifications necessary for the 2014 and 2015 seasons?
The list of modifications, among other items, included a hydronic heated field, increased storage space throughout the facility, heating for various areas within the stadium, and concession upgrades in the stadium’s concourses. The Vikings also installed temporary bleachers to accommodate approximately 1,700 additional fans, bringing the total capacity to TCF Bank Stadium above 52,000.
What will tailgating look like for Vikings games in 2014 and 2015?
For a complete list of tailgating options surrounding the University of Minnesota, click here.
What will parking look like for fans at TCF Bank Stadium?
For all information regarding parking around TCF Bank Stadium, click here.
What will ticket prices be in the new stadium?
For information on products and pricing, click here.
As a Season Ticket Member, will I have priority on picking my seat?
Yes, the Vikings have developed a fair system based on Season Ticket Members' current status and 2013 location at Mall of America Field that ensures Season Ticket Members will have priority for seats at the new stadium. Current Season Ticket Members during the 2013 season at Mall of America Field will receive seat selection priority over new fans on the waiting list for the new stadium.
What is my seat selection priority?
Minnesota Vikings Season Ticket Members will have the first opportunity to purchase SBLs in the New Minnesota Stadium. Season Ticket Members will begin to receive their invitations to visit the preview center based on their 2013 seating locations in Mall of America Field. For more details, please call 612-33-VIKES to speak with a new stadium representative today or click here for more information.
Fans on the waitlist will have the opportunity to select seats after all current Season Ticket Members have had a chance to review their options.
Will I be able to purchase a similar seat to my current seat at Mall of America Field?
The Vikings will work to ensure each current Mall of America Field Season Ticket Member is offered an opportunity to purchase seats in a comparable location in the new stadium. Given that the new Vikings stadium will have more seats on the sidelines and more seating options than the current stadium, fans should have an opportunity to select a location that fits their preference and budget.
Is there a waiting list for the new stadium for non-Season Ticket Members?
Yes, fans who are interested in receiving the latest updates throughout construction and/or would like specific information on certain seating types or want to join our Waiting List, can click here.
Will fans have an opportunity to see elements of the new stadium and review a seating process with a member of the Vikings staff?
Yes, Vikings Season Ticket Members and others can see, touch, and feel the new stadium at a new stadium Preview Center, which opened in March, 2014. Every Season Ticket Member will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with a personal sales consultant at the Preview Center to discuss benefits and seating options at the new stadium.
What is a Stadium Builder's License?
A Stadium Builder's License (SBL) is a one-time contribution that grants Season Ticket Members the right to control their seats for a defined term as long as they continue to purchase Vikings season tickets. SBLs are used to help finance construction of new stadiums; programs have been used as a finance tool for half of all stadium projects in the NFL.
Why are SBLs used?
SBLs are used to help finance construction of new stadiums; programs have been used as a finance tool for half of all stadium projects in the NFL. The economics of new stadium construction require a partnership between the state and local governments, the team and the fans. This new stadium cannot be accomplished without the support of fans, and in previous SBL programs around the country, fans have had positive experience with SBLs.
Where does the money from SBLs go?
All net proceeds from SBL programs are directed toward construction costs of the new stadium and stadium infrastructure.
What are the benefits to fans of purchasing an SBL?
How many NFL stadiums have used SBLs?
Prior to this project, 16 stadiums that serve as the homes for 17 NFL teams have used SBL programs as a project finance tool. Most recently, new stadiums for the Cowboys, 49ers, Jets and Giants were significantly funded by SBL programs. These stadiums have SBL prices that are more than three-four times higher than the program being discussed in this market. For a market comparison, click here.
What are the SBL prices?
The following parameters were established as the initial step in developing and introducing a Stadium Builder’s License program.
For all of the SBL pricing options, click here.
Will there be financing options for SBLs?
Yes, the SBL program will include two financing options for Season Ticket Members to make easier, interest-free payments:
1) An equal installment payment plan, with a down-payment due at signing and interest-free payments prior to the anticipated opening date of the stadium.
2) A finance plan over multiple years, with a down-payment due at signing, interest-free payments prior to the stadium's anticipated opening date, and payments with interest available for five years after the the stadium’s opening.
Will fans be able to sell these SBLs?
The SBL will belong to the fan who purchases it to hold it, transfer it, sell it how he/she sees fit after the first year of the stadium’s opening.
How does this program compare to other markets?
This program is priced three-four times lower than the four most recent programs and is very much in line with programs developed in markets similar to Minneapolis-St. Paul. In 2003 the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers developed programs that in today's dollars would be in line with the parameters of the program agreed to by the Vikings and MSFA.
The most recent SBL programs (adjusted for inflation for 2016) include:
* Stadium opening in parentheses
In markets similar to Minneapolis-St. Paul, the following programs (adjusted for inflation for 2016) were utilized:
* Stadium opening in parentheses
For a complete comparison chart of SBL programs, please click here.
How was the $125 million SBL program amount determined?
Extensive research was conducted with existing Vikings Season Ticket Members, previous single-game ticket buyers, premium seat holders, existing and potential team sponsors and the general public, which showed that an SBL program is very viable in Minnesota. In fact, the research showed this market could sustain a program of $200 million or higher. However, the MSFA, in consultation with the Vikings, developed parameters for a maximum gross program of $125 million, which is a reasonable program that fits with the Minnesota fan base.
If I don't continue buying season tickets, will the SBL revert back to the MSFA?
The SBL will belong to the fan that purchases it - to hold, transfer or sell it however he/she sees fit after the first year of the stadium’s opening. If the SBL owner defaults for some reason, the license will revert back to the MSFA.