Stadium authority ends legal fight with plaza owners

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October 24, 2013
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has reached a deal to buy the plaza area near the Metrodome for $17 million from a group of landowners who had been in a legal battle with the authority over the value of the land. 

The block of land will be part of a park and plaza area planned for the new Vikings stadium, said Michele Kelm-Helgen, the authority's chair. 

"This site now becomes an extension of the public park that has been proposed by the city of Minneapolis and Ryan Companies, as part of their $400 million development," she said. "This block in conjunction with the two city park blocks, will give us a three-block park that will enhance all the events of the stadium as well as an amenity for Minneapolis residents on a daily basis."

Securing the site also frees up more space for the transit hub near the stadium, which will feature the new Green Line in 2014. The site also has a 450-space below-ground parking ramp that will be used for stadium events. 

Minneapolis Venture, the former owner of the site, sent a letter to the authority earlier this year suggesting the property was worth between $24 and $26 million. However, it obtained a reduced assessment of $4.5 million for the property in 2011.

Jon Austin, a spokesman for Minneapolis Venture, said: "The parties are pleased to have reached an agreement."

The groundbreaking for the new stadium is expected to take place before Thanksgiving.