Schafer: Downtown East plan 30 years in the making

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 15, 2013 - 8:11 AM

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and the City Council were all smiles Tuesday when the Ryan Cos. announced a multi-block mixed-used development adjacent to the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

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ScottSimonMay. 16, 1310:44 PM

A much better idea from the start would have been to construct a parking structure around the perimeter of the existing dome that would have added a third deck and another ring of suites onto the Metrodome. In the process the concourses could have been widened and the inflated rooftop could have been replaced by a retractable roof of glass on rails that was supported by the new parking structure. The overall cost of this would have been significantly less than the cost of a new stadium and it would have taken less time and would not have required the team to play at TCF stadium as construction was taking place. Further, on weekdays and on weekends when the Vikings were out of town, the parking could have been occupied by airport travelers from Northwest and Northern cities and suburbs who now park at the airport and surrounding areas. They could have instead, paid to park at the Metrodome ramp and taken the light rail to/from the airport. The Metrodome would be earning money while it sat empty. The whole idea would be frugal and functional instead of being wasteful and create debt that will never be repaid.

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