Skip to main content

Minneapolis scrambles to find management plan for 'The Yard'


Throughout planning phases for the new $1 billion Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis, city leaders have envisioned a lush wide-open public park, a two-block oasis of green in the middle of new development projects.

But now they are scrambling to figure out who is going to manage and pay for it.

"Call it whatever you want, but it ain't a park," said Anita Tabb, one of nine commissioners on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Pioneer Press reports. "And it certainly ain't public."

At a meeting Wednesday night, the board voted to wash its hands of the project known affectionately as "The Yard," saying that the city's financially strapped parks department was worried about the cost of maintaining the park, estimated at roughly $2 million to $3 million a year.

The only real revenue option would be to charge fees to groups to rent the park for events and programs, but commissioners doubt that will raise much money, given that the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority already have claimed a number of days for events, the Star Tribune reports.

The board's action effectively dumped the project back in the city's lap, and there are no easy answers for the City Council. At one point in development plans, a judge had ruled that the city itself doesn't have authority to create and manage parks, which is how it wound up in the hands of the parks board.

Now what? Planning for the park will continue. The Star Tribune and Pioneer Press report that plans are underway for the drafting of proposals for a new conservancy group to manage the park.

The Yard

The park would be adjacent to the new stadium, in the middle of a new $400 million development project known as Downtown East being overseen by developer Ryan Companies. That project would include two office towers, which will be occupied by Wells Fargo, as well as restaurant and retail space.

City leaders and developers have viewed The Yard as key to that project, which marked its ceremonial groundbreaking in May. The Downtown East project is expected to be completed by spring of 2016, three months ahead of the stadium.

Next Up

u.s. attorney

Guilty plea from man who stockpiled guns, equipment to make bombs, drugs

Prosecutors say he had multiple guns, items to make weapons and pipe bombs, and lab equipment to make drugs.

polaris Ranger XP Kinetic

Here is Polaris' new electric Ranger off-road vehicle

The Minnesota-based company unveiled the electric UTV on Wednesday.


MN women's soccer team narrows name, logo options to final 3

The winning nickname and logo will be announced in January.

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.


Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.