Minnesota Golden Gophers: What the New Vikings Stadium Means to the Gophers

Matt KasperCorrespondent IIMay 11, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 20:  The Chicago Bears kick off to the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium on December 20, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

TCF Stadium: Home field for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings? That will be the case in 2015, when the current stadium for the Vikings will be torn down so a new stadium can be built in its footprint. There is a slight possibility the Vikings could switch over to TCF starting in the 2013 season and play up to four full seasons there, but that would seem unlikely. With the additional guests at the Gopher's home field, there will have to be some changes made in order to accommodate the additional fans and late season games played there.

To start, the Gophers are going to get paid $250,000 per game that the Vikings play in the stadium. In addition, the Gophers and the Vikings will split concession and advertising revenue, which is estimated to be about $50,000 per game– totaling an estimated $300,000 per game to the Gophers. Furthermore, all additional expenses during the season will be paid for by the Vikings.

One major component to this move is that TCF will need to undergo a few renovations to get the stadium NFL ready. Currently, the stadium only holds 50,805 seats, which is about 15,000 less than the Metrodome. In order to get TCF's capacity up closer to that 65,000, the Vikings will pay for new bleachers to be installed on the western end zone plaza.

Also, heating coils are to be installed under the field. Since the Gophers don't have any home games after November, there is no real need for a heated playing surface. But since the Vikings play regular season games into January, and possibly some playoff games at the end of the month, the field will need these coils.

Another area of concern for the Vikings will be alcohol sales while at TCF. Recently, the Board of Regents was given back the authority to sell alcohol at Gopher stadiums and arenas. The Vikings typically sell alcohol until the end of the third quarter at home games, but the Gophers will likely only serve until halftime at most of their events. This situation will likely be dealt with at a later time.

The money the Vikings will be paying will be going to the University of Minnesota's Athletic Department. This is a big win for the Gophers. An estimated $3 million for one season of Vikings games at TCF, along with other improvements to the stadium, will go a long way in helping the department and other sports at the University.