With the Vikings entering their final season of Metrodome occupancy and with the team still awaiting the construction of its new downtown home, it's been announced the Vikings will play their home games in 2014 and 2015 at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
There is an option for two additional years as well.
“The [facility] use agreement stipulates that the Vikings will reimburse the University for any required TCF Bank Stadium capital improvements, as well as all game-day operational expenses,” the team wrote in a statement. “In addition, the Vikings will pay the University a per-game rent of $250,000 for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, with minimal increases if additional seasons were to be required. The team will also share $50,000 per game in concessions, advertising and sponsorship revenue. In total, the Vikings will pay the University $300,000 per game, with a maximum of $3 million for each NFL season.”
Though it's an open-air stadium -- which, I'm sure, will be pleasant for fans in December -- the agreement calls for new turf, “an appropriate heating element for the playing surface” and the potential installation of more seating.
The agreement still has to be ratified by the university's Board of Regents on Friday, but, aside from that, it appears as if the Vikings have found their temporary abode.
"This partnership benefits the University, its neighbors, the Vikings and all Minnesota football fans," University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said in the statement. "The Vikings will remain part of the Twin Cities region during construction of their new stadium, while proceeds will be used to enhance Gopher Athletics and invest in the fabric of our surrounding neighborhoods."
Fans are winners as well, despite having to battle the winter elements. After all, beer is now available at TCF Bank Stadium.