The Minnesota Vikings’ $1.1 billion stadium is generating more than $1 billion in economic development surrounding the signature U.S. Bank Stadium.
With construction essentially complete, stadium and Vikings officials conducted tours for the media on Tuesday morning and are expecting more than 100,000 fans to attend tours throughout this weekend.
Since legislation was passed for funding about half of the stadium’s price tag in May 2012, five apartment complexes, five office towers and four hotels have either been constructed or are in the process of it.
“When the Metrodome was originally in this location, it was surrounded by empty parking lots. There was always a hope that economic development would follow and as we all know it never did,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. “People would always ask, ‘Why in the world would you take the same site that was really from an economical standpoint such a loser and have this facility there?’”
Already having the land in the public coffers made it a logical choice, but Kelm-Helgen credited the two Wells Fargo office towers that were just constructed for kick-starting the economical investment surrounding the stadium.
Architectural firm HKS, which designed AT&T Stadium in Dallas and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, “ensured that we designed a building that was going to attract economic” growth, Kelm-Helgen said.
“This economic investment (proves) the notion that stadiums, if done correctly, can in fact invest in the community and we have shown that it actually works,” she said.
With the brand new stadium on the horizon last year, U.S. Bank Stadium attracted the Super Bowl to Minnesota in 2018, and that is expected to generate about $400 million in economic impact, although various studies done looking into the economic impact of a stadium and hosting Super Bowls have arrived at different conclusions regarding the depth of that economic impact.
The NCAA Final Four being hosted at the stadium is expected to generate a $200 million economic impact, and the stadium is a finalist for hosting the X Games.
The construction process also generated money for local business. About 90 percent – or 300 companies – used in the construction were Minnesota businesses – and 16 percent of the businesses used are owned by women and 12 percent are owned by minorities, Kelm-Helgen said.
Approximately 8,000 workers – 9 percent were women and 36 percent minorities – and 4 million work hours went into the construction process. As the stadium becomes fully operational in the coming weeks, more than 3,000 ongoing full- and part-time jobs are being filled.
While the Vikings will be paying the highest rent in the NFL – $10 million annually – the stadium will be used for numerous other events. It start with an international soccer match between Chelsea and AC Milan on Aug. 3, concerts headlined by Luke Bryan and Metallica a couple weeks later and then the Vikings’ preseason opener on Aug. 28.
In addition, high school baseball games and 12 youth football clinics will be held there, along with high school soccer and football championships.
Roller-blading and running clubs are expected to use the facility regularly, and craft and boutique shows will be hosted there.
“I always tell people there are going to be literally hundreds of opportunities for people in the next two years to come in and enjoy it,” Kelm-Helgen said.
But the big events will draw the attention and have the most economic impact as the return on the billion-dollar investment begins.