Vikings agree to play at TCF Bank Stadium

MINNEAPOLIS — On the day the new Minnesota Vikings stadium all but became a reality, the team agreed to a Letter of Intent with the University of Minnesota for the use of TCF Bank Stadium on the school’s campus during potential construction at the current Metrodome site.

The Letter of Intent states that the Vikings will pay the University of Minnesota $250,000 per game as well as an additional $50,000 per game for concessions and sponsorship revenue. That total will equal $3 million per NFL season.

Also in the Letter of Intent, changes to TCF Bank Stadium will include the installation of heating coils under the turf playing surface as well as adding temporary bleacher seats in the western plaza are of the stadium, which currently has a seating capacity of 50,720.

“The Minnesota Vikings are an important asset to the state and we were pleased to work with them on reaching a mutually beneficial arrangement to host them on our campus,” University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said in a statement. “The Vikings will remain part of the Twin Cities region during construction of their new stadium, while the proceeds from this arrangement will be invested in our athletic department to enhance Gopher sports.”

Other stipulations of the Letter of Intent include the duration of lease and days of play. According to the release, the Vikings may lease TCF Bank Stadium for up to four NFL seasons, with an anticipated start date of 2013. They could also play at the stadium for part or all of one season, likely 2015.

Alcohol has not been sold at Gophers games at TCF Bank Stadium during the facility’s three-year existence, but Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation late last month that gives the Board of Regents full control of the sale of alcohol at university sporting events. That legislation expires in July of 2014, however. As for the sale of alcohol at Vikings games played there, that will be up to the Board of Regents at a later date.

“The university is committed to proactively addressing stadium and campus operational issues and to minimizing any potential impact on the university community and our neighbors,” Kaler said. “For Vikings games at TCF Bank Stadium, the university will control stadium and campus operations and will exercise the same level of care for traffic and noise management, litter control and public safety as is our standard for Gopher events.”

The Vikings were forced to play one game at TCF Bank Stadium in December of the 2010 season after the Metrodome roof collapsed. Minnesota hosted Chicago amid icy field conditions and lost 40-14 to the Bears.

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