Although many pieces are yet to fall into place before a new Minnesota Vikings stadium is constructed, the team is in discussions to make the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium their temporary home during construction if the State Legislature approves a plan for a stadium on the site of the Metrodome.
"We've had a number of conversations and meetings but they're still preliminary," University of Minnesota General Counsel Mark Rotenberg told MPR's Steven John Thursday. "We do not have terms agreed upon yet and certainly no final document or contract with the organization."
The Vikings have said they would need more seating and a heated field if they are to play in TCF Bank Stadium, putting the price tag for renovations at about $11 million. TCF Bank Stadium, which was completed in 2009, was designed to allow these sorts of expansions, which Rotenberg said the University would do its best to accommodate if an agreement is reached.
"Our primary mission is teaching, research, public service as the state's land grant university, and we're not in the business of providing subsidies to a private entertainment business," Rotenberg said. "We're going to do whatever we can to accommodate them but those funds are going to have to, in the end, come from the Vikings."
Another potential sticking point is the University's policy on alcohol in the mostly-dry stadium. Although the University's Board of Regents have the final say in whether the University will allow alcohol, Rotenberg said it was likely they could reach an agreement on the issue.
Gov. Mark Dayton has said the Metrodome site is the best option to gain approval for a new Vikings stadium this legislative session. Rotenberg said discussions thus far have focused on the Vikings playing in the Metrodome for one more season before going over to TCF Bank Stadium and until the new stadium is completed. He said the University could likely accomplish the renovations necessary for the Vikings to play in TCF Bank stadium within "several months" of reaching an agreement.
The University previously hosted the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium when the roof of the Metrodome collapsed in late 2010.