Will Vikings stadium spur downtown community growth?

New Vikings stadium concept
This version of a new Vikings stadium, drawn by the HKS architectural firm, features a cable-supported roof with a transparent covering.
HKS Architects

How can a city incorporate a sports stadium into their downtown plan? Architects and urban planners agree that it's hard to do, which is why most large sports facilities exist away from city centers, where acres of parking lots aren't as problematic.

But the Vikings hope their new stadium will be different. They envision a facility that is inviting to businesses and residents alike. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak told the Star Tribune, "This is one of those projects that comes once in a century. We have to get it right."

Thomas Fisher, professor and dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, will join The Daily Circuit Thursday, Dec. 13 to talk about the art of building community around a stadium.

"We're determined not to repeat the Metrodome's mistake of creating a district that's a 'no man's land' except on game day," he said in the Star Tribune. "If we do this right, people will want to live and work in this area. My personal view is that this should be a dense urban district with development right up to the light-rail station across from the new stadium."

Tim Chapin, associate professor and department chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University, will also join the discussion.

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