Reporting Reg Chapman
Filed underBusiness, Local, News, Seen On WCCO-TV, Sports, Syndicated Local, Vikings, Watch + Listen
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Just when you thought you’d heard every stadium idea imaginable, a new site is emerging and it could solve one of the Vikings’ concerns.
It’s a site close to the Metrodome that would let the Vikings keep playing in their old home while the new stadium is being built.
In the blocks just east of the Metrodome, near 11th Avenue and 6th Street, is the newest proposed site for a Vikings stadium.
Building in the back yard of the Mall of America Field would save the expense and time it would take to move the Vikings to TCF Stadium. The team would also be able to continue to play at the Metrodome until the new stadium is complete.
But this new site also has its issues.
“Xcel the company has some infrastructure there and you got the 511 building ,which also has quite a few telecommunications companies in there with quite a bit of infrastructure,” said Corry Merifield of Save the Vikes.
Merifield said it would cost a lot of money to relocate those buildings and all that come with it. For instance, some roads might have to be changed.
“You’ve got exits and entrances from [Interstate 94] and [Interstate 35W] coming in and out of there,” Merifield said.
Most of those freeway entrances would have to be changed, adding more to the cost of relocating and changing infrastructure to accommodate a new downtown stadium.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley told MPR that just because there are properties doesn’t mean that the Vikings can build there. They would evaluate it, he said, but the organization has yet to see a viable proposal on an alternate Metrodome site.
Inside Grumpy’s Bar on Sunday, Viking’s fans sounded off about the potential stadium site.
“You could either tear down the Metrodome and build something there or go to another site. Don’t go across the street,” said Vikings fan Jesse Thorson.
Although there are extra costs associated with the site near the Metrodome, the Vikings previously said it would take about $11 million to get the Gophers’ stadium ready for NFL games. They also claimed they’d lose about $12 million in revenue each year they played there.