Financing for New Park Near Vikings Stadium is Unclear

Updated: 07/09/2013 9:22 PM By: Jay Kolls

It is an ambitious project with a lot of unanswered questions. One of those questions is: Who pays for the new, nine acre, two-block park next to the new stadium where the Vikings will play?

The park will sit between Fourth and Fifth Streets on the north and south and Kirby Puckett Way and Fifth Avenue. It is part of a $400 million development project that includes office towers and condos, among other amenities.

Right now, the developer will purchase the land and put down grass and then the city of Minneapolis will buy it from the developer by selling bonds.

Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson tells KSTP the cost for development and maintenance of the park is "money that has not yet been identified."

Johnson says the city is talking with the Sports Authority and Vikings about sharing the costs. Development of the park alone, Johnson says, will cost about $10 million to $15 million. The park, Johnson says, will be open to the public. But, when the public has access and what type of events will be held there are also items that need to be ironed out as the project moves forward.

Minneapolis Parks Board President John Erwin tells KSTP the Parks Board does "not have the money to buy the land, develop it, or maintain it right now." But, Erwin says, there are ways to create a revenue stream that will not require the "average Minneapolis property owner" to pay for it through their taxes.

Erwin says the Parks Board is looking at the possibility of having a concession on the site to help pay for the maintenance of the park once it is developed. Erwin says there is a lot of "time to figure these things out before the park is built."