The Vikings Need To Strike A Deal With The University of Minnesota

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Photo: Flickr/Ed Kohler

In the aftermath of the destroyed roof of their stadium, the Vikings stand to lose millions in ticket, merchandise, concession and parking revenue for every game they outsource to another stadium.In other words, they need to fix that roof. Now.

But doing so presents a different problem. Depending on the extent of the damages – the Vikings are awaiting a final assessment – the Vikings could have to fork over nearly $100 million to refurbish the stadium to meet the NFL’s standards. That amounts to a huge investment in a stadium the team is desperate to ditch.

It would also further cloud the plans for a new stadium. Whether the state or club owner Zygi Wilf funded the roof repair, it would surely limit either side’s ability to contribute to a new stadium.

Provided the early repair estimates are accurate, Wilf has only one viable option: he must cut a deal with the University of Minnesota to play games in the sparkling one-year-old TCF Bank Stadium until a new Vikings’ stadium is built.

He can do so immediately, too. The school’s athletic department told us the stadium could be ready to host an NFL game as soon as next weekend.

The university would benefit from whatever rent fee the two parties agree upon while the Vikings get to recoup most of their revenue without abandoning the local market. (TCF Bank Stadium is three miles from the Metrodome.)

Even though it’s a college facility, the newly-constructed TCF Bank Stadium has all the amenities NFL fans are accustomed to, and an impressive array of the one most important to billionaire NFL owners: luxury suites. The stadium is even expandable up to 80,000 seats.

So while fans line up for free Vikings tickets in Detroit, Wilf better move quickly to stop the revenue bleeding, and begin the process of building a new stadium. He can start by going back to college.

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