How Did Minnesota Pay for Its Stadiums?

A look back at the years of subsidies

A look back at the years of subsidies

New Major League Soccer team owner Bill McGuire plans to elevate his Minnesota United squad to the MLS in 2018, as long as a new outdoor stadium gets built in Minneapolis's North Loop neighborhood.

While we all wait to see how much public money McGuire will ask for to build the stadium, let's take a look back at how the other stadiums in the Twin Cities were financed.

See also: Minnesota Awarded Major League Soccer Franchise -- As Long as New Stadium Is Built


Opened: 1982 Cost: $68 million Private: $0 Public: $68 million

The Metrodome was utilitarian, bleak at times, especially toward the end of its 30-plus-year run, but it finished on time and under budget. The long, contentious political battle leading up to its construction had enough fodder for future U.S. Sen. Amy Kloubachar to write an entire book on the struggle.



Target Center

Opened: 1990 Cost: $104 million, $129 renovation planned Private: $104 million, $55 million of renovation Public: $0, $74 million of renovation

Target Center's funding history is complicated. It was privately financed by Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner, the infamous "Marv and Harv" duo who begged the city to take the arena off their hands only a few years after it opened. The city assumed responsibility for the arena in 1995 and now is on the hook for $74 million of a planned $129 million renovation.


Xcel Energy Center

Opened: 2000 Cost: $170 million Private: $40 million Public: $130 million

The Xcel Energy Center is 15 years old and still one of the nicest arenas in the country. St. Paul and the state split the $130 million public share, but recently the state forgave most of the $65 million interest-free loan given to St. Paul to help build the stadium.


TCF Bank Stadium

Opened: 2009 Cost: $288.5 million Private/University: $152 million Public: $137 million

The private share of Gopher football's new stadium came from a number of corporate sponsors and private donors, including $35 million from TCF for naming rights and $10 million from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community as part of a scholarship deal. Students got stuck with a $12.50/semester fee, and a large chunk of the public's contribution was to pay for land it was built on.


Target Field

Opened: 2010 Cost: $545 million Private: $355 million Public: $200 million

At least the stadiums we have are nice, right? Hennepin County was the driving force behind the public's share of Target Field, helping acquire the land necessary to build the 45,000-seat stadium.



CHS Field

Opens: 2015 Cost: $63 million Private: $11 million Public: $52 million

The St. Paul Saints got a sweetheart deal after the Vikings took almost $500 million in public subsidies. The state and the city of St. Paul roughly split the public share, and St. Paul's Parks and Recreation will own and operate the stadium when it opens later this year.


New Vikings Stadium

Opens: 2016 Cost: $1.1 billion Private: $551 million Public: $498 million

Construction costs keep rising on the state's first billion-dollar stadium, and the Vikings have been nice enough to keep covering them. The team has had to put up $74 million in extra cash since construction has started, according to the Business Journal, but we'll see how much the team reaps from the yet-to-be-announced naming rights.


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