Venue News: Vikings Strike Tenative Stadium Deal, Arrangement with U of Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota have struck a tentative deal on how much the team will pay the U to play at TCF Stadium while a new Vikings stadium is built near the Metrodome. While declining to say how much the Vikings would pay per game, Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said Monday that the tentative agreement would add roughly 3,000 temporary end zone seats to the university’s 50,000-seat stadium. According to Bagley, other details still need to be resolved before the plan can be finalized, but there is an agreement in principle between the two parties. Because it is unclear how many games or seasons the team would play at TCF, Bagley said the school and team had reached a tentative agreement on the cost per game. In December 2010, the team paid $1.7 million to play a game at TCF after the Metrodome roof collapsed…

… UConn is moving to establish stadium enhancement and construction funds for soccer, baseball, and softball with the purpose of upgrading or building new facilities. This follows on the heels of doing the same for a new basketball practice facility.Like the money being raised for the basketball facility, funds for the other projects will come through private donations and will be spearheaded by the school’s chief fundraiser, Paul Pendergast. Pendergast said the basketball facility is priority No.1 with donations for basketball going straight to basketball. At the end of September, the fundraising was at $8 million for basketball; it is now at about $17 million. Donations earmarked for soccer, baseball, and softball are going to those sports. About $1 million has been raised for baseball and $4.5 million for soccer. Target date for all to be completed is 2014, but target date for the basketball facility is late 2013 to early 2014. When it’s all said and done, the basketball project could cost $40 million, though some estimates are closer to $35 million. UConn envisions a 70,000-square-foot facility on the Memorial Stadium site, adjacent to Gampel Pavilion, with dedicated practice gyms for the two basketball programs; locker rooms; coaches’ offices; and areas for academic support, video analysis, sports medicine, and strength training…

…A hedge-fund manager’s $500 million plan for Seattle to poach Sacramento’s professional basketball team, the Kings, has city officials in California’s capital fuming. But time may be on Sacramento’s side in its attempt to keep the franchise. San Francisco hedge-fund manager Christopher R. Hansen this week released a letter he wrote to Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine making clear his intention of buying a National Basketball Association team — as well as attracting a National Hockey League franchise — to play partly on property he already controls in Seattle. His proposal specified that “no public funds will be committed until NBA and NHL franchises have been designated for the Seattle/Kings County community.” That rang alarm bells hundreds of miles south in Sacramento, where officials are scrambling to hold on to the Kings, the city’s only pro franchise, amid reports other cities would be interested in hosting the team…

…Arizona State University’s path to a new Sun Devil Stadium is clearer now, after the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors formally authorized an athletics district to be developed to fund capital projects starting with a new football stadium.  Numerous design proposals are leading to realistic funding options. A decision could be made to keep the lower bowl of the 54-year-old stadium and rebuild above that level to a new seating capacity between 55,000 and 65,000, lower than the current 71,706. The estimated cost is between $150 million and $250 million. The cost for shading, in lieu of a roof, is estimated at $40 million-$50 million. Fan comfort will be improved no matter what design is chosen through upgraded seating with more leg room, better concessions and restrooms, suites closer to the field, improved transport to the upper level, and compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act regulations. The athletics district, which will collect revenue from commercial development of 300-plus acres owned by ASU, is not the only funding option — increased revenue from the stadium, Pac-12 media rights, and philanthropic donations will be factors…

…The plan by state lawmakers to cover up for their city of Miami counterparts after a $1.2 million mistake on a botched parking garage contract with the Miami Marlins just hit a major Constitutional wall. A new House staff analysis has found that a Legislature lifeline for Miami, filed by Rep. Jose Diaz, R-Miami, and backed by Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami, likely runs afoul of the state’s constitution. In November, the city of Miami was shocked to find out  that it could be liable for property taxes on parking garages that it built to support the new Miami Marlins stadium. Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia told the city that it may have to pay property taxes on the 5,700-space parking garage it leases to the Marlins. A clause in the city’s much-maligned contract with the Marlins shielded the baseball team from any liability for taxes, leaving the city with the bill, estimated to be $1.2 million per year.

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