Vikings kick in nearly $20M more for stadium

Vikings stadium
With the downtown Minneapolis skyline as a backdrop, construction continued on the site of the new Vikings stadium, Mar. 19, 2015 in Minneapolis.
Jennifer Simonson | MPR News file

The owners of the Minnesota Vikings are putting an additional $19.5 million into the new stadium under construction in downtown Minneapolis.

That will bring the team's total contribution to more than $550 million, nearly $74 million more than the amount committed by the team in 2012, when it reached an agreement with the state of Minnesota to build the stadium. It's the ninth time the team has chipped in additional funding — on top of a shift of a $26.4 million of contingency funding to the main budget, backed by the team.

"We want to say we did what we could to ensure the best game-day experience possible," said team president Mark Wilf, in a statement released Thursday night. On Friday, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is expected to take up a budget adjustment to the stadium project terms that will reflect the additional funding.

The team said the new money will go to:

• Plaza enhancements
• Food service equipment
• Event space build-out
• Game day entertainment and staff
• Retractable seating upgrades
• A "Purple Deck" overlooking downtown Minneapolis

The latest installment from the Vikings is in addition to $10 million kicked in by food service provider Aramark and $2 million by stadium management company SMG.

All told, that means the stadium now has a projected cost of $1.061 billion, up from an initial $975 million estimate. The state of Minnesota is paying $348 million of that and the city of Minneapolis an additional $150 million. The taxpayer contribution was capped in the stadium legislation signed by Gov. Mark Dayton nearly three years ago.

The stadium has been under construction since Dec. 3, 2013, and is scheduled to open in July of 2016.

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