Will new Vikings stadium end tailgating?

Published 10:13 am Monday, July 1, 2013

By Tim Nelson
Minnesota Public Radio News

It’s a rite as old as Minnesota’s football franchise. Fans gather outside the stadium to eat, drink and tailgate. It’s a do-it-yourself celebration of team spirit.

But some of the Minnesota Vikings most ardent fans are worried the new stadium will mean the end of tailgating as they know and love it.

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Three downtown Minneapolis surface parking lots designated for tailgaters, right outside the stadium, are likely to be going away. They’re expected to be replaced with a $400 million blockbuster real estate development across the street proposed by the Ryan Companies, and a parking ramp required by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

Marcus Anderson, of Lakeville, is one of the diehard tailgaters, who are happy about the new stadium but worried they’ve been sidelined.

“It’s the country Vikings fans that come in. They commute. They commute with their trailers, their RV’s, their homemade vehicles,” Anderson said. “Those things have all been kind of tabled for the big cookie.”

That concern has been stoked recently by an online survey from the Vikings. One of the questions the team asked fans was if they’d be willing to tailgate somewhere else.

Team vice president Lester Bagley said the Vikings are committed to insuring the tradition continues–to a point.

“However if this Ryan project goes forward and develops three current tailgate lots, we’re going to have to roll with that,” Bagley said.

One of the options the Vikings have been weighing is running shuttle buses to remote lots that would get Vikings from their grills to their seats.

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