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Vikings Will Pay For One-Third Of New Stadium, But Not For Roof

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The Minnesota Vikings have said that they will pay for one-third of the cost of a new outdoor stadium in Minneapolis. However, they're also saying that they will not be paying for the price of a roof, even if state legislators tell the team that they require one.

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According to Vikings' vice president Lester Bagley,

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"A roof does not provide any benefit to the Vikings. It also costs a couple hundred million dollars more in capital costs, in addition to the operating costs that are much higher for a covered facility."

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Bagley is exactly right on this one, in my opinion. The Vikings want to use the stadium anywhere from eight to twelve times a year, if you count pre-season, regular season, and potential post-season games. If the state of Minnesota wants a roof on this stadium so that it can be a "365-day facility like the Metrodome" (in the words of State Senator Julie Rosen), then they can pay for it.

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The cost of an outdoor stadium is going to be right around $700 million, as of right now. Putting a roof on the facility would push the price tag to anywhere between $900 million and $1 billion, depending on whether that roof was fixed or retractable (the latter being more expensive, naturally).

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As a lifelong Vikings fan myself, the most popular type of stadium is any new stadium that gets built in Minnesota and keeps the Vikings from loading up the Mayflower trucks and moving to some other, less deserving location. I don't care if it's indoor, outdoor, retractable roof, fixed roof, in Minneapolis or Blaine or Mankato or Duluth or International Falls or Breckenridge.

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The Vikings need to stay in Minnesota, and the Vikings' ownership and Minnesota politicians need to figure out how to keep them there.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.