Vikings’ Wilf ‘Optimistic’ About Metrodome Site

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – It was an unusually long three hour meeting on Wednesday at the State Capitol, but it was about an issue that’s been going on for more than 10 years.

Minnesota Vikings staff and state lawmakers were behind closed doors.

Now, team owner Zygi Wilf said he’s more open than ever to putting a new stadium on Metrodome land in downtown Minneapolis. But does it mean they’re closer to a stadium deal at the State Capitol?

There remains a long way to go in the Vikings stadium saga, but it’s looking like it’s Metrodome or nowhere. Now the Vikings may be warming to the idea.

“We feel optimistic and confident that we can get something done,” Wilf said.

A renovated stadium at the site of the Metrodome was at the bottom of the Vikings preference list. The team was trying to make a deal and pledge big money to build in suburban Arden Hills.

Now, Vikings officials are acknowledging it they be forced to go where ever the legislature can get the most votes.

“We’re doing our due diligence right now to understand what issues we have to face to make sure the facility we participate in will be a world class venue,” Wilf said.

If the Vikings and state lawmakers reach a deal to build a new stadium on the Metrodome site, it comes with a slew of logistical problems.

Among the biggest problems: How to fit an NFL team into a smaller TCF Bank Stadium venue during new stadium construction. Another: Minneapolis is insisting that renovating the Target Center must be part of any stadium package.

“While I understand that there are some challenges with that here, we won’t be able to move forward without it,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Arden Hills is not out of the picture, but it is fading fast. Ramsey County has until Friday to come up with a funding plan that can pass a reluctant state legislature.

That’s all happening as Minneapolis cobbles together a stadium plan to get just enough votes for passage.

“Any idea out there that we have is going to gain us some votes or lose us some votes. That’s why this is so difficult to put this together,” said Rep. Morris Lanning.

If the Vikings stadium is built on the Metrodome site, the Vikings would have to play at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota for three years.

They don’t like it, but they’re running out of options and time. How to pay for a stadium remains a major sticking point, too.

Slot machines at Canterbury Park and electronic pull tabs are options. One of the stadium authors said pull tabs may have the best odds of passing.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Anne

    “The Vikings have been pushing for public funding of a stadium”

    Other cities and states and teams have private funding for stadiums.

    Why should Minnesota be stupid and give the people’s money away?

    • Steve

      Because the few Viking fans even left in this state think it is ok for billionaire owner like Zig to rip off the public and get rich

      • Ted

        @ Steve

        well how do you think millionaires and billionaires become millionaires and billionaires in the first place?

        it must be ok, we enable them along…………….thats the way its always been and always will be.

    • Mike

      What? What other cities/teams have funded their own stadiums privately? With the exception of the Dallas Cowboys?

      • Bob

        There is a web site called Google that will search things for you. If you can’t figure it out, ask your mom for help.

        • Mike

          Unfortunately, my mom was killed in a car accident 6 days ago.

          • Ted

            and youre finding time to comment on stadium issues???

            go ask your dad…or was he killed an hour ago?

            • Mike

              Hi, Ted. I do have time. I have taken two weeks off. And sports is my escape.
              My dad was not killed an hour ago. He passed away from cancer in 2004.

              That said, I took Bob’s excellent advice and searched for any stadiums that were fully paid for with private dollars. The answer is that there never has been even one.

              • Todd

                First of all, Mike, my condolences to your family for thepain you are going throgh with the sudden loss of your mom. You are right about sports being a escape for people. When suffering comes our way sprots is a natural way of putting our problems aside and root for the team. On this note, I do believe we need to build the best stadium to assure that the vikings will remain in our city for decades to come. I am all in favor of paying a higher drink/restaurant tax to pay for a state of the art stadium in Arden Hills

              • Ted

                @ Mike

                if true, sorry for your loss and Ill take back what I said.

                Anyways, I dont think you looked hard enough……

                google “public subsidized nfl stadiums”

                University of Phoenix Stadium built for the Arizona Cardinals, opened in 2006, 76 percent publicly financed

                1) Georgia Dome, home to the Atlanta Falcons, built in 1992, 100 percent publicly financed

                2) Century Link (formerly Qwest) Field, home to the Seattle Seahawks, built in 2002, 83 percent publicly financed.

                3) Cowboys Stadium cost $1.15 billion — the closest to the estimated cost of the new Vikings Stadium. It opened in 2009 with about 30 percent of it publicly financed.

                This is just 3 stadiums…………….

                • Frankie

                  Easy enough site to find

                  Seattle Seahawks
                  11220 NE 53rd Street, Kirkland, WA 98033
                  Primary Owner: Paul G. Allen
                  tel (425) 827-9777 / fax (425) 893-5066

                  Total Cost:
                  $430 million

                  City, County, State Public Subsidy:
                  $323 million, 75 % of total (sales tax, gate and concession tax, hotel and rental car tax, lottery proceeds)

                  Facts and figures vary by site

                • Frankie

                  Look at the financing plans for LA if they get a team to move there
                  You didn’t look hard enough at what the options are. Give the Wilfs the Arden hills site and some acreage.

        • Deep Ponder

          Bob your the dumb one who was talking about the Vikes never playing in January, you dont you take your own advice and use google. The vikes have the third most play appearances in the league. Don’t be dumb talk about things you have know knowledge in your better then that.

          • v

            Dumb = not knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re”, along with “then” and “than”. Not to mention “know” and “no”.

            • Giant V

              hahah thanks for the english lesson buddy, but who really cares about english lessons on the comment page of a news article. Also thank you for leaving your thoughts about the article….

    • Randy Dischinger

      They already have a program in place to give the people’s money away, it’s called public education.

    • Dax Quatemaine

      Name one stadium that was built with private funds. Wilf’s giving more than any other owner to date.

      • Frankie

        nice try Dax, but very wrong

        Detroit Lions
        1200 Featherstone Road, Pontiac, MI 48342
        Primary Owner: William Clay Ford
        tel (248) 858-7358 / fax (248) 456-1691

        Ford Field (Opened in 2002)

        Total Cost:
        $300 million

        County Public Subsidy:
        $95 million, 31.7% of total (hotel and rental car tax, general fund)

        New England Patriots
        60 Washington Street, Foxboro, MA 02035
        Primary Owner: Robert Kraft
        tel (508) 543-8200 / fax (508) 543-0285

        Gillette Stadium (Opened in 2002)

        Total Cost:
        $395 million

        State Public Subsidy:
        $70 million, 17.7% of total (general fund)

        Washington Redskins
        21300 Redskins Park Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147
        Primary Owner: Daniel Snyder
        tel (703) 478-8900 / (703) 729-7605

        FedEx Field (Opened in 1997)

        Total Cost:
        $251 million

        State (Maryland) Public Subsidy:
        $71 million, 28% of total (general fund)

        Philadelphia Eagles
        3501 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148-5201
        Primary Owner: Jeffrey Lurie
        tel (215) 463-2500 / fax (215) 339-5464

        Lincoln Financial Field (Opened in 2003)

        New Stadium Estimated Cost:
        $520 million

        City, State Public Subsidy:
        $265 million, 51% of total (rental car tax, sales and property taxes in stadium district, and general fund)

      • Ted

        @ Dax

        I named 4….read above

        • Nate

          You named four stadiums that were built with public funds not private funds. Are you on drugs?

    • Ray

      You obviously have more reading to do. Only 1 – 2 teams have private funding. nice try though.

      • Ted

        uh, huh…ya youre right, I just made all that stuff up.

        you need to re-tweak your sources

        even nicer try though

        • Nate

          Ted… You do realize you are arguing against yourself right? You claimed to have named privately funded stadiums yet your post clearly states that…
          1) University of Phoenix Stadium… 76% publicly financed
          2) Georgia Dome… 100% publicly financed
          3) Century link… 83% publicly financed
          4) Cowboys Stadium… 30% publicly financed

          You were clearly asked to name PRIVATLY funded stadiums (which you won’t find) NOT PUBLICLY funded stadiums (about all of them are publicly funded) and you turned around and proved yourself wrong.

          You sir are a prime example of a product of our poor public education system.

          • Ted

            momentary confusion on my part….my apologies

            however, why are we talking private funds anyways?….this isnt how this stadium will be paid for, or if it is it will be minimal….and it isnt how the majority of ANY sports stadium is funded.

            My point is that taxes are used to build sports facilities….its just a fact of life….no amount of whining about it is going to change that.

            So no, I argued for exactly how this and other stadiums are and will be financed. Its been done before. Who cares about private funds?

  • forcefedtaxes

    I like the LA site best!

    • Mayhem

      well dont let the door hit cha on the arse on your way out!

  • push this

    There are plenty of us pushing back for NO public funding of Zippy’s playground.

    Zygi, go find another public trough to suck the slop out of. And you can take our spineless politicians with you.

    • Mayhem

      not enough to matter

      It will be built

      • Notmymoney

        Yes, enough to matter. It “may” be built, but Dayton better update his resume if it is.

        • Mayhem

          You must live in Hallock, MN – or around there anyways – that’d be the only area where it would matter…I guess.

          If Dayton isnt re-elected, it wont be because of the stadium issue….guaranteed.

  • Bruce

    If it’s going to take around a billion to build something, give or take a few million depending on the site, why not make use of the Arden Hills site. Better access, room for other related expansion, better parking, better tailgating, not having to play at the U of M for 3 years, and many, many more reasons. Sounds like Dayton has singularly drawn a line in the sand. I cannot stomach him much longer. Please Republicans, come up with someone to beat him next election!

    • Arvid

      Have any of you Arden Hills supporters ever listened to what the GOP says in their statements? They will not let Ramsey County raise taxes to pay for their portion of a stadium. Is it that hard in general for the pro stadium people to remember anything other than “build a stadium?” With that resistance, what is left for Dayton to do?

    • Bubba

      Amen. I won’t go to the new stadium if built on the Metrodome site. Arden Hills has room for new businesses and PARKING. Dayton just doesn’t get it.

    • KM

      Bruce, I totally agree that the Arden Hills site may be the best possibility and in particular that Dayton has singularly decided the only possible site is the Metrodome.

  • SB

    I don’t care where it’s built as long as state and county money is not used to build it. I prefer downtown but I would accept Arden Hills. There was an artilcle in the Star tribune I’m looking for that brought great insight to Zigi’s push for Argen Hills. He owns 120 acres of land next to where he wants to put the stadium. The land would be worth more and he could make money out of putting a hotel or “convention center” like on the draft plans he submitted if the Vikings move there. That property isn’t about the Vikings it’s about Zigi’s personal interests. Why else woul dhe have turned down Blaine’s offer? He had their full support along with Anoka county to build there.

  • Fedupwith WCCO

    I vote for LA. Thank you for leaving my comment in this time. I struggle with WHY you would remove that???

    • zeep

      because CCO is full of racists.

  • Mr T

    I was wondering how long it would take for Rybak to come crying that they are leaving MPLS. Let another city have there chance. I really don’t want my money going towards stadium but if it has to I like the arden hills plan with more options of entertainment what new growth would come from redoing the dome

  • Mayhem

    Public dollars will be used….quit your whining and youll get over it sooner.

    Sounds like this is practically a done deal…I just hope it doesnt have a roof. At least make it retractable anyways.

    • Figureitout

      Apparently you don’t have a problem wih them using your dollars, but I do. If you want to fund s stadium for the loosers to play in that is fine with me, just leave me (and my dollars) out of it.

      • Mayhem


        Anyways, unfortunately for you our taxes are pooled.

        I have a bigger problem with my dollars going to welfare cases that dont deserve to be welfare cases – but I dont whine about it because I know it wont do any good. You should probably do the same with the stadium issue. Welfare has costed me WAY MORE than a stadium ever will since Ive been paying into it since I turned 16 and got my first paycheck. You probably have too.

        So no I dont have a problem with them using MY dollars for something I actually approve of for this state.

  • richard

    I have been pouring my tax money into education every year for over 60 years you would think MAYBE they are not controlling their spending.ask a school district how much of the budget is spend on wages but all we hear is “its for the kids” I’m for good education but a feel these schools have to accountable for the money they get from taxpayers and how they spend it.

    • long walk, short pier

      May I suggest you begin with educating Zygi? Try to help him get it through his thick skull that we don’t want him or his team here anymore. We can’t afford to keep him. Now pack your stuff and leave.

      • Deep Ponder

        why dont you leave, no one wants to here your negative irrational thoughts. Why can’t we afford to keep them, pretty sure more people in the end will want them to stay then go, and I’m pretty sure Zygi is a great owner. Clearly you don’t know what you are talking about.

      • Brad

        I want the team here. All of my friends and family do as well. Don’t use “we” when you are speaking for yourself.

        • No Tax Money

          Are you that fat famly with the ttrashed yard and car that smokes in the trailor park I drive by on my way to owrk?

  • me stupid

    I thunk zippi said only the ammo dump would work for him. I guess zippy was lying about that.

  • zeep

    CCO smells funny because of all the old people that watch it!

  • Mike

    You guys that do not want the Vikes in MN please move to Iowa where you belong.

    • Mike

      You gals that do want the Vikes in MN please go to hell where you belong.

      • Not Mike

        Get a life.

  • Jason

    The real issue at hand with this stadium is and always be, THE PUBLIC SHOULD NOT BE PAYING FOR THIS. You have been fooled into believing its always been about location. Dayton really put his foot down on this one. Mediocre showmanship at its weakest. Sorry Dayton, try again.

  • Jason

    I cant be the only one that has seen what has just happend before our very eyes. Wilf to Dayton ( You issue a statement saying the only way you will consider public money for my stadium is if its built on the metrodome site) (You know the least fav. spot) ( I will issue a statement saying no) ( Then a day later I will be optimistic) ( That way I will have looked to have conceded and you will look like a hero)…. Is that an accurate sum of this equation.

    • Nate

      Yes it is accurate but that’s business and those are the kind of business tactics that have made him successful in the first place. 999 out of 1000 times a professional sports stadium is built there will be some sort of public funding involved just like every other big building project. Get over it.

    • Krissi

      Agreed. It’s been a massive game from the beginning.

  • zip zip zippity yi ay

    Zippy, moustaches went out of style about a decade ago(unless your gay).

    • wow

      Excuse me zip zip etc…

      Are you saying that Pavano of the Twins is gay then? I don’t know any of my gay friends that sport a mustache.

      Thanks for the attempted slam, but you really need more practice.

  • Rick Ferguson

    Have to play at the U of M for 3 years, WHY. They just got done playing in the Dome. Did they bulldoze it down already. They could have a home for 3 years, they just walked out it’s door.

    • jackactionhero

      Their lease at the Dome has expired, Rick.

      Any other questions?

  • jack
  • Do you people work?

    Why don’t all four of you (the only one’s who ever post on Vikings related articles) just get your laptops and form a little sewing circle at a coffee shop? You all sound like a bunch of whining old hags bickering at each other. Good grief. Bunch of bored, sociopath children!

    • Todd

      Why are YOU here???

      • zippy

        because he’s gay.

        • zippy's critic

          zippy, repeat after me, God is Gay, and Gay is good, so let us thank Him for our food, and football.

          and pull your pants up ho

  • Emo

    Vikes Suck!


      EMO,YOU SUCK!!!

  • Maynard

    It’s not Mark Dayton’s decision…fortunately.

    Contact your representative and tell them how you feel. You can get their email, fax and phone number here:


  • chuckster

    what happened to racino ?, instead let;s do it the cheapest again

  • Zygi

    If this thing goes through, the value of my investment will increase dramatically. Then, when I sell the team, I’m going to make a fortune.

    Thanks suckers!

  • j speedbag 64

    yep were gonna get this done kiddies one way or another….so go ahead…keep sniveling………

  • Johnny

    Three hours in a room with Mark Dayton?


  • Jill

    Google or Bing these words:

    publicly funded sports stadiums

    Educate yourself!

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