Baseball dispute could delay work on Vikes stadium

Published 10:05am Monday, January 28, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings officials and public authorities are at odds over how to squeeze a baseball field into a stadium designed primarily for football.

The impasse threatens to delay a project already facing tight deadlines. It also appears to be an early test of just how accommodating the Vikings will prove to be.

The Gophers and other college and prep baseball teams hope to play early-season games in the shelter of the new stadium.

But the Vikings hope to put seats as close to the field as possible as they wedge a baseball diamond into a gridiron rectangle.

Baseball coaches say the biggest problem is the plan puts the right field foul line and power alley about 20 feet too close to home plate.

The Vikings told the Star Tribune that even with a short right-field foul line, the stadium “will still be the best indoor collegiate baseball venue in the country.”

They compared the center field design to Fenway Park in Boston.