For some Vikings fans, the idea of two seasons at TCF Bank is exciting because it means two years of outdoor football. Others, however, wonder about parking near the University of Minnesota and what the loss of football means to downtown Minneapolis.
Michele Kelm-Helgen, the chair of the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, said at a lunch with downtown residents that it’s unlikely the Vikings will be able to play the 2014 season at the Dome.
“It is looking more and more like the Metrodome will come down after the 2013 season, and the 2014 season will be played at TCF Bank Stadium,” she told the group, who was meeting for City Council Member Lisa Goodman’s monthly lunch with constituents.
Initially, state and city leaders had thought it would be possible to construct most of the new stadium during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, then tear down the Dome and play one season at TCF Bank Stadium while the rest of the stadium is completed. The new stadium is scheduled to open in time for the 2016 season.
Construction will begin in October.
The MSFA is scheduled to pick a construction company in early February. Three firms have bid on the contract: Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis, Hunt Construction Group of Arizona and Skanska AB’s New York office.
If Kelm-Helgen is right, here’s what the next three Vikings seasons would look like:
2013: Vikings play at the Metrodome
2014: Vikings play at TCF Bank Stadium
2015: Vikings play at TCF Bank Stadium
2016: Vikings open the season at their new stadium, which has yet to be named