Does everyone remember when the Metrodome's roof collapsed under the weight of tons of snow? Do you remember the following weeks, when the Vikings were displaced? Now, do you remember how fun it was to watch the Vikings play outside at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium? Get used to that.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota have finalized a deal that would make TCF Bank Stadium the Vikings' official home away from home. The deal is not official just yet, however; to be officially sealed and done, the University president before it is binding.
The deal gives the Vikings a lot of flexibility as their new stadium is being built. The Vikings can lease the stadium for up to 4 consecutive seasons, or as little as part of one NFL season, presumably 2015. The deal comes at a steep price as well. The Vikings will pay $250,000 per game played at the stadium as well as sharing a portion of any concessions sold. The Vikings will also reimburse the university for any changes/additions made to the stadium to accommodate the team.
To say the least, the deal is very intriguing. Usually, a team won't have to play away from home long, if at all, as they build a new stadium. The idea of the Vikings playing at the University of Minnesota for four years sounds more like a protective clause than a realistic estimate. Stadiums simply don't take that long to build. My best guess is that the Vikings will play away from home for a couple of seasons, and in my mind, that's not so bad considering they'll be moving back to a brand new stadium when it's all said and done.
The Vikings, and even the NFL, should be congratulated for their efforts. It appears that the pressure applied by the Vikings finally paid off. They made some monetary concessions to ensure that the team stayed in Minnesota, and it's paid dividends. For the first time in a long time, we can be [relatively] safe in saying that the Vikings will be in Minnesota for years to come.
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