When a major sporting event like the Super Bowl or the Olympics comes to town, lots of people rent out their homes to earn some extra cash. Starting next fall, the Minnesota football program will join that group of people.
The Minnesota Vikings are finally leaving the MetroDome, but their new $975 million stadium won't be ready until 2016. Rather than try to squeeze a few more years out of their old barn, the Vikings are going to borrow the Gophers' home for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
The Vikings will pay to utilize the four-year old TCF Bank Stadium, while also footing the bill for new turf, putting heating coils under that new turf to winderize the playing surface and adding 4,730 temporary seats to the 50,000-seat venue. The Vikings will also contribute $125,000 to nearby neighborhoods and businesses and, on top of all that, pay the Gophers $250,000 per game while splitting concession, advertising and other revenue. All in all, the Vikings will pay Minnesota up to $3 million per season.
If that doesn't sound like a lot in today's age of $25 million media payouts, look at it this way - the Big Ten's entire take from the 2011 bowl season was $47 million, or $3.9 million per team. Or you could look at it another way: Minnesota paid its entire coaching staff $3.3 million in 2012 according to USA Today.
"This partnership benefits the university, its neighbors, the Vikings and all Minnesota football fans," school president Eric Kaler said Thursday.
For schools like Minnesota, life is often hard when you're overshadowed by an NFL team in your own home town. But, with the monetary contributions, the stadium improvements and the added exposure of having their stadium on TV for eight NFL Sundays a year, we think Jerry Kill and co. will be happy to rent their place out of a little while.