MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC)-- Hundreds attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Vikings stadium on Tuesday.
The project began more than a year and a half ago with the passing of the stadium's bill. Tuesday's ceremony was a culmination of a partnership between the owners of the Vikings and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.
"They're in the business of trying to make money and we're in the business of trying to protect people's tax dollars and those two can conflict a lot," said MSFC Commissioner and Lanesboro area resident, Duane Benson. "We've made it this far and we'll make it to the end, but it's not been easy."
The $1 billion project has drawn critics, but others say the new stadium will bring more revenue to the Twin Cities. Dave Mansell of Mortenson Construction will be supervising construction and says the 2-year project will translate to thousand of jobs.
"This is exciting," said Mansell. "We've got a lot of work to do and need to buckle up our boot straps and get going."
For fans, it's the beginning of a new era in the team's history.
"With the new stadium we'll get a championship, that's what I'm hoping at least," said Vikings fan Barry Jones.
That sentiment was shared by hundreds who attended a pre-groundbreaking ceremony. Governor Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak, Vikings owners, Mark and Zygi Wilf and others made remarks before celebrating at the construction site.
"I played the first game in this stadium as a coach and I hope I'm around long enough to see the new stadium open," said former Vikings Head Coach, Bud Grant.
The Vikings will play their last game at the Metrodome on Dec. 29 against the Lions. For at least the next two seasons, the team will play at TCF Bank Stadium.
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