Minnesota Vikings Announce Deal to Build New Stadium

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IMarch 1, 2012

MANKATO, MN - AUGUST 4: Owner Zygi Wilf (L) of the Minnesota Vikings speaks with U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) during training camp at Minnesota State University on August 4, 2011 in Mankato, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings fans hoping their team would not be relocated will be happy to learn that the team, the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis have agreed to build a new stadium for the Vikings that will be located to the east of the Metrodome, according to 1500 ESPN Radio.

"Now the real work begins," [Governor] Dayton said, referring to persuading a majority of the city council and Legislature to pass the bill.

The stadium would have a fixed roof and be built to the east of the existing Metrodome site, allowing construction to begin while the Vikings continue playing in the old building and limit their stay to one year at TCF Bank Stadium while construction is completed.

The Metrodome was opened in 1982 and is devoid of many modern conveniences that new state-of-the-art stadiums contain. It also took significant damage to its roof when a snowstorm forced it to collapse in December of 2010.

It's been clear for a while now that the Vikings need a new stadium, and after years of failing to reach a deal to build one, it appears that the team will finally be able to build a modern arena fit for an NFL team.

The city, state and team will split the costs of the project. Here are some details of the funding:

Under the agreement, the Vikings would contribute $427 million towards the $975 million in upfront costs of the project, plus $327.1 million in "operating and capital expenses that would peg their total contribution at 50.6%.

The state's upfront contribution would be $398 million (26.7%), funded by charitable electronic pull-tabs. Dayton twice raised a finger and repeated that not a single general-fund tax dollar would be used to fund the state's portion.

The City of Minneapolis would pay $150 million upfront and $188.7 million in operating and capital expenses (22.7%). The city's share of construction would be paid for with existing convention center and hospitality taxes -- a 0.5% sales tax, a 3.0% downtown restaurant tax, a 3.0% downtown liquor tax and a 2.625% lodging tax.

With the astronomical price of stadiums these days, everyone has to do their part in funding, including the taxpayers. However, it looks like the Vikings are paying for the majority of the stadium's $975 million price tag and are not putting too much of a burden on the state and its citizens.

This is great news for the league and the Vikings. Minnesota has very passionate sports fans and are fully deserving of an NFL team. For fans who have supported the team for years, this is a fantastic moment for them.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is happy about the agreement and is hoping the stadium can be built on time.

"This is an exciting day," Wilf said, "because the dream of keeping the Minnesota Vikings here for generations to come is close at hand. We're optimistic that everyone realizes how important it is and it will get done this session."

The Vikings hope to play one year at TCF Bank Stadium, which is where the University of Minnesota plays football, before moving to the new stadium. 

According to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Radio, the new stadium will be modeled after Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium. The team will have to play in the new stadium for 30 years.

Thursday's announcement is news that Vikings fans have been hoping to hear for many years. Hopefully this latest development in the goal to build a new stadium will keep the Vikings in Minneapolis for a long time.

Nicholas Goss is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report, follow him on Twitter.

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