Vikings Stadium Obsolete After Seven Years?

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the balls as Chicago Bears cornerback Teez Tabor comes up for the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Hundreds of millions of dollars needed to keep the stadium in top of the line condition.

It was about a decade ago when the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings’ ownership and Commissioner Roger Goodell wanted Minnesota taxpayers to pick up the tab for a new stadium. Minnesota lawmakers gave the Vikings’ ownership what it wanted. A new stadium with Minnesota and Minneapolis taxpayers putting up about a half billion dollars of the cost. The price tag for the construction of the stadium ended up being more than a billion dollars. The venue opened in 2016. In addition to being the home of the Vikings, the league put the Super Bowl in the building in 2018. The NCAA also selected the building for its 2019 Men’s Basketball Final Four tournament. The seven-year-old stadium seems to be falling apart. In January, the Minneapolis stadium was named one of “The Ugliest Buildings” in the United States, according to a study from Buildworld. That is the least of the Minneapolis stadium’s problems.

The local newspaper, the Star Tribune, ran a story that the building needs about $280 million in updates to keep the stadium in top condition. The stadium needs $48 million in the next 12 months for the upgrades. Is the money available? Not really according to Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michael Vekich. Vikings’ ownership and Minnesota taxpayers make annual contributions to the stadium’s capital improvement fund. It is believed that the fund has about $16 million on hand. The Populous, an architectural firm conducted the facility assessment and determined it was in good shape. But the areas in poor condition included weather stripping on doors, a damaged concession display on the upper concourse and the in-house stadium TV distribution system. Arenas and stadiums at one time were supposed to last for decades but now venues seem to be outdated within a decade.

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Los Angeles Rams’ Brandon Powell (19) runs from Minnesota Vikings punter Jordan Berry (3) during a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)