Earlier today it was reported on the Vikings main site that the Wilf family has added another $46 million dollars in private funds towards the new stadium, pushing the project to $1.025 billion dollars.
That's billion, with a capital B.
The additional revenue ensures that the original plans for the stadium, to include the five rotating, mega glass doors (which look really, really cool, not gonna lie), and the original amount of elevators and escalators planned to move fans around will remain intact.
When the stadium bill was originally signed, the private/team contribution was set at $477 million. With today's announcement, the total private contribution is now $526 million, an increase of just under $50 million since the stadium bill was passed. From the article:
"The Vikings have made a significant contribution to the stadium budget, which allows us to maintain the original design to ensure the stadium is the most iconic, world-class stadium in the country and perhaps the world," said MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. "The team stepping up to make this contribution was instrumental in helping to solve our budget gap."
"It is critical that the original stadium design unveiled in 2013 is delivered to the public when the new stadium opens in 2016," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "Our goal is to provide the best game day experience possible for our fans and for everyone in Minnesota who uses the stadium. We strongly believed eliminating significant items that contribute to that fan experience was not an option."
The Vikings have also absorbed the costs associated with TCF Bank Stadium modifications while they play there for two years, which has cost $23.2 million, up from an original estimate of $15 million. The public contribution outlined in the stadium bill remains at $498 million, and by law will not increase, unless legislation is passed and signed in to law by the governor.
So far, this has been the anti-Metrodome project, where everything was done on the cheap. I know that there are a lot of people that don't like public money going towards stadiums, and I appreciate that point of view. But I also appreciate the fact that the owners aren't trying to stick the taxpayer with the extra money, and aren't cutting corners for the fans in building the stadium.
When this place opens, I firmly believe it's going to be the premier sports facility in the country, and I can't wait.