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Vikings to play 2014-15 at TCF Bank Stadium

The SportsXchange

The University of Minnesota's Board of Regents signed an agreement Friday to allow the Minnesota Vikings to play their home games at TCF Bank Stadium for at least the 2014-15 seasons, according to the Minneapolis-Star Tribune.

The Vikings are entering the final year of their lease with the Metrodome and are waiting for the construction of their new stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

"The use agreement stipulates that the Vikings will reimburse the University for any required TCF Bank Stadium capital improvements, as well as all game-day operational expenses," the team said in a statement. "In addition, the Vikings will pay the University a per-game rent of $250,000 for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, with minimal increases if additional seasons were to be required.

"The team will also share $50,000 per game in concessions, advertising and sponsorship revenue. In total, the Vikings will pay the University $300,000 per game, with a maximum of $3 million for each NFL season."

TCF Bank Stadium is an outdoor stadium on the university's campus. The agreement with the team includes new turf, "an appropriate heating element for the playing surface" and potentially additional seating.

"This partnership benefits the University, its neighbors, the Vikings and all Minnesota football fans," University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said in the statement. "The Vikings will remain part of the Twin Cities region during construction of their new stadium, while proceeds will be used to enhance Gopher Athletics and invest in the fabric of our surrounding neighborhoods."

The Vikings' new stadium is scheduled to break ground in October and be ready for the 2016 season. The state legislature is calling for a fixed roof for the $975 million stadium but the team is exploring options for a retractable roof.

The deal with the university includes letting the team play at TFC Bank Stadium beyond 2015 if the new stadium is not ready by then.

Also, a provision allows the Vikings to allow beer and wine sales in the stadium during games and hard liquor only in premium seats.

"I know there was pressure from the Vikings to have a broader sale of alcohol," university regent Dean Johnson said. But, this is "a good compromise."

The state legislature voted last year to allow beer to be sold and drank in special tents at the stadium through halftime of Gophers football games.

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