City takes less money for stadium project

The City of Minneapolis opted not to take a Vikings offer that was $5 million more for a building project next to the new stadium.

At a time when the state and the City of Minneapolis are complaining about the public contribution to the new Vikings stadium, on Friday the Minneapolis City Council, for reasons that are their own, opted to take $5 million less to complete one of the final pieces of the Downtown East construction rather than an offer from the Vikings.

The city council was weighing a decision on a proposal from Ryan Companies on the land parcel that is earmarked to be a residential housing tower with at least 25 stores. It was also supposed to co-brand with Radisson Hotels. However, the hotel announced two weeks ago that it was pulling out of the project and Ryan Companies claimed it couldn’t fulfill its original bid of $5.6 million without the inclusion of the high-end hotel space.

At the meeting, Ryan Companies officials said the most it could bid for the project was $3 million. The Vikings made an offer of a whopping $8.1 million – more than $5 million above the amount the city council accepted and $2.5 million more than the original bid price that was awarded. An amount like that could pay for a lot of bird-proof glass, but the council had no interest in accepting the Vikings offer.

What made the issue a hot-button topic for the city council was that part of the overall Downtown East project includes a downtown city park. The park is intended to be funded in part by the construction of the residential/hotel/business tower. Had the Ryan proposal been denied, the city likely would have been required to re-bid the project, which would cause a significant delay that the city couldn’t afford to take.

As part of the revised agreement, the city will immediately receive a payment of $300,000 to pay for the early design portion of the project. At question for the city, which will be reaping revenue from an adjacent parking lot that will be used to pay the city’s stadium share of $62 million, was the Vikings’ proposal for the building, which would be approximately half the size of the building proposed by Ryan Companies.

In the end, the city council opted to go with the Ryan proposal, which is $2.3 million less than its initially bid, rather than the Vikings’ offer, which was more than $5 million more than the amended bid approved.


  • Despite having one of the most hideous nationally televised football games in recent memory – a 56-14 Atlanta win over Tampa Bay in which the Falcons led 56-0 in the third quarter – CBS not only won the ratings battle, but beat the other three major networks combined. The rating for horrors in the Georgia Dome was 11.8 million homes. The other three networks combined for 10.3 million homes.

  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally broke his long silence with a prepared speech that came off as more political than substantive. While promising sweeping reforms, he seemed to replicate the position of the Ravens, Vikings and Panthers head coaches and front offices in being seemingly unprepared for the bombardment of questions they would receive. The views of Goodell’s press conference have been mixed, but the recurring theme is that, like the Vikings, Goodell has come off in public opinion as not grabbing the issue by the horns and taking ownership of it, rather bowing to public opinion after the wrong decision was made.

    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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