In what seemed like a bit of a formality, the Minnesota Vikings have reached an agreement to play their home football games at TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, while their new stadium is being built. There are, however, a couple of interesting things in the agreement, as ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert has pointed out.
The big one, in my opinion, is one that I hope the Vikings never have to deal with. The Vikings have agreed to play at TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. We knew that was going to happen already. However, the agreement says that the team could play at TCF Bank Stadium through the 2017 season. I can imagine that would only be an issue if the revenue streams for the new stadium continue to fizzle out and the stadium takes longer to build than normal. Again, hopefully not something that will be a concern.
The other one has to do with home prime-time games.
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.
So Sunday Night Football will be okay, it appears. But if the Vikings are going to be on Monday Night or Thursday Night Football during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, it looks like those games will be on the road. The only week that the Vikings could feasibly host a MNF or TNF game, based on this year's academic calendar, would be Week 16 (as there are no Monday night or Thursday night games in Week 17).
The rest of the agreement has to do with the installation of the underground heating system, which we all knew the Vikings were going to have to put in anyway. They don't need to be playing on an ice rink if they're going to be outdoors. It also includes the possible expansion of seating and the selling of alcohol during the games.