Vikings to roll out red carpet for stadium blueprint

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Not all of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority meetings will be this fancy. But the agency that will oversee the new home of the Vikings is pulling out all the stops for the ceremony that will unveil the architectural plans.

Monday night's event is being held at Minneapolis' fanciest theater, the Guthrie. The dignitaries on hand will include Gov. Mark Dayton, Mayor R.T. Rybak, the Vikings' brass, and even some of the players. KFAN's Paul Allen will host the ceremonies.

The public is welcome but tickets are required and the number distributed will probably only be a few hundred. Never fear, though. Your friend the Internet can hook you up with a webcast at vikings.com.

And what kind of stadium will be depicted in the architectural renderings everyone will be gawking at? The biggest mystery involves the roof and whether there will be a way to open things up and let some fresh air in on nice days.

Sources tell the Star Tribune the most recent drawings by architect HKS, Inc. feature a fixed roof, but with a giant sliding window or wall that can be opened to reveal a view of the downtown skyline.

A draft environmental impact statement was released a couple of weeks ago. That document does not specify whether the roof will open or not.

The budget for stadium construction is $975 million and it's due to be ready for football by the start of the 2016 season.

The state of Minnesota has committed to paying $348 million of the cost. A plan to cover that with taxes on electronic pull tabs and bingo is being reassessed since proceeds from those games are coming up woefully short of expectations in the early going.

After a final season in the Metrodome, the Vikings will play for two years on the University of Minnesota campus. The Vikings agreed last week to pay the university $3 million per year for the use of TCF Bank Stadium.

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