Thursday, May 9, 2013
Closer look: TCF Bank Stadium agreement
By Kevin Seifert
The Minnesota Vikings' formal agreement to use TCF Bank Stadium in 2014, 2015 and possibly beyond includes a few nuggets of relevance for the NFC North crowd. Among them:
- The Vikings will be limited to one weeknight home game per season, and it must take place when the University of Minnesota is not in session. I haven't seen the 2014 academic calendar yet, but this year, the fall semester runs from Sept. 3 to Dec. 19. So if the Vikings do play at home for "Monday Night Football" or Thursday Night Football in 2014, we can assume it will come during the coldest part of the year.
- The agreement covers the 2014 and 2015 seasons but allows for continued use through 2017 if necessary. That stipulation is worth filing away as the state of Minnesota scrambles for new revenue streams to cover its share of the project.
- A new field and an underground heating element will be installed to prevent the frozen environment players encountered in a 2010 game at the stadium. Former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre blamed the frozen turf for what turned out to be a career-ending concussion.
- There is a "potential" of adding additional seating. Currently, capacity is 50,805 -- about 20 percent lower than the next-smallest NFL stadium.
- Tailgating and alcohol sales will be permitted subject to university rules.
It's worth repeating that 2013 is scheduled to be the Vikings' final season in the Metrodome.