Devil is in the details emerging on Vikings Stadium


While not many will shed a tear when the Dome comes tumblin' down, people may cry foul when they learn about the costs and other terms for the new place that will replace it.

For all of the fits, starts and scrutiny surrounding the new Vikings stadium, more details are emerging about what the Vikings are getting out of the deal.

In a story that has been picked up by several media outlets, the Associated Press does a fine job of reporting some of the key details buried in the 222-page lease agreement signed by the team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority last week.

Most folks blanched a bit when the notion of $2,500 seat license fees was floating around, but the AP delves deeper.

For instance, while the Wilfs are paying their fair share of the stadium costs, they will most certainly have some help. Due to the top dollars commanded by stadium naming rights these days, whatever the heck the place will be called is up to the team.

"The Vikings will have the exclusive right to sell and profit from a pair of naming-rights deals for the new stadium and adjacent fan plaza," according to the AP. Some estimates say the Vikings may end up getting $10 million a year just for putting a corporate stamp on the building.

Then there's the notion of the cheap seats - or, as the agreement calls for, "affordable seats." The Vikings are zeroing in on 3,250 "affordable" seats in a 65,000 seat stadium.

"What’s affordable?" asks the Associated Press story. "That depends on how much other seats cost."

WCCO weighs in with the angle of the Stadium Builders License, which will generate money that will go toward the cost of the new stadium and will consist of zoned pricing levels.

WCCO also notes that the Vikings have said the SBL offers guarantees to season-ticket holders - such as the guarantee that a season ticket owner will own his/her seats for as long as he/she continues to purchase season tickets, and the option to hold, transfer or sell SBL as the fan sees fit after first year - Gov. Mark Dayton has strongly voiced opposition to such methods being used to prop up the Wilfs' portion of the costs.

In a letter to the MSFA last month Dayton wrote that he strongly encourages a financial agreement "which requires the Vikings’ owners to provide a significant share of their financial contribution from their own resources, and not from Vikings’ fans through the sale of expensive personal seat licenses."

The SBL could generate as much as $125 million in advance for the Wilfs, though that may be reviewed after the season.

MSFA chairwoman chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen tells CBS that “there’s many different issues being negotiated.”

Meanwhile, the AP reports what won't be allowed at the stadium, namely events that sell guns, adults-only entertainment and periodicals, pawn-style offerings or head shop paraphernalia.

So the only gun show will be the one coming from Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

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