Shared stadium not a viable option

Sen. Dean Johnson floated the idea of a shared stadium between the Vikings and Gophers, but that wouldn't create enough revenue for the Vikings to give them a competitive fighting chance in the NFL landscape.

For those who had their hopes buoyed earlier this week that, if the Vikings can't get a new stadium deal from the Minnesota State Legislature, they could potentially share new TCF Bank Stadium with the University of Minnesota, Thursday shot those hopes down.

Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson floated the idea of expanding TCF Bank Stadium to house both the Vikings and Gophers, but that plan was rejected by Vikings officials, who say that the issue isn't the number of seats in a new stadium, but rather the sort of revenue generated by suites, luxury boxes, club seats, signage and sponsorships. The Johnson plan was also given support by U of M President Bob Bruininks, who said if the Vikings failed to get a new stadium, he would be open to sharing an expanded stadium on campus, but the Vikings simply don't see that as an option.

Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley said that, despite having a new stadium at the university, the new stadium would generate significantly less revenue than the Metrodome currently produces – which is hard to handle since the Metrodome is dead last in the NFL for revenue generated.

It would seem the time has passed for a shared stadium. The Gophers open their stadium next year. The Twins open their stadium in 2010. The Vikings find themselves still waiting in line to get approval for their stadium. Had the three groups been united a few years ago, a multi-purpose Taj Mahal could have been built that could have housed all three – and for less than the three separate stadiums will cost. However, it would appear as though that ship has sailed.


  • It still hasn't been determined which of the Vikings' new linebackers – Napoleon Harris or Dontarrious Thomas – will likely start Sunday if David Herron can't go. But it is being speculated that since Thomas played with the Vikings and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier last year, that he would be the frontrunner.

  • The linebacker questions are only getting more pronounced, as Herron missed a second straight day of practice Thursday. The rest of the Vikings on the team injury report were listed as limited participation. After today's practice, the team will officially announce its injury report and the odds of their injured players seeing the field Sunday.

  • For the second straight day, starting defensive backs Charles Tillman (shoulder) and Danieal Manning (hamstring) did not practice for the Bears.

  • Devin Hester was added to the Chicago injury report Thursday with a toe injury. He will limited in practice.

  • Things just seem to be going from bad to worse for the Kansas City Chiefs, who failed to trade Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez earlier this week before the trade deadline and announced Thursday that star running back Larry Johnson will be suspended for this week's game against Tennessee.

  • The 16th Annual Taste of the NFL will take place from 5:45 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Vikings Winter Park Fieldhouse. The event, which includes many current and former Vikings and local celebrities, will help feed thousands of families via Hunger Solutions Minnesota in partnership with Second Harvest Heartland foodshelves through the Vikings Children's Fund. The tax-deductible tickets are $175 or a block of 10 tickets can be purchased for $1,600. For more information or for tickets, call 952-918-8405.

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