VIKINGS STADIUM: Signs near site speak controversy - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

VIKINGS STADIUM: Signs near site speak controversy

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As far as the city of Minneapolis is concerned, there's a lot more to the new Vikings stadium than the arena itself -- but additional developments to a dreary part of downtown aren't sitting well with team owners.

It's the city's first blank canvas in a generation, and the artist renderings and visions are coming up against a cold, hard reality at City Hall.

"We have, to me, a mind-blowing opportunity. So, let's not think small," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Two separate committees are taking on the project of determining what the city's new back yard will look like. One is the Park Advisory Committee, comprised of architects, stakeholders and city leaders.

"We need to put all this in a realistic picture with really big visions," Rybak said. "It's all going to be complicated."

Down the hall, developer Ryan Companies showed the Planning Commission new drawings of the retail and commercial project alongside the park -- the frame around the canvas, so to speak.

The detailed plan wasn't immediately met with applause, however. Commissioners immediately began raising concerns about a third apartment complex that has been added at the end of the park.

"Presents a nice front to the park, rather than the jail," contended Mike Ryan.

Fox 9 News has learned that drawing may be the most controversial of them all -- and not only because some wonder whether the public will feel like they're sitting in someone's backyard if apartment occupants are just a few feet away on a patio.

The biggest issue appears to be the signs on the top of the roof at the new Wells Fargo headquarters, even though they'd only be visible from the air. The Vikings' owners worry the signs -- visible from a game-day blimp -- will diminish the money they could get for naming rights to the stadium.

Blocking off Portland and Park avenues to traffic also raised heckles, but Ryan Companies is no longer asking for that after an apparent lack of support; however, no one from the Planning Commission sits on the Park Advisory Committee.

Both groups will make recommendations to a new City Council, and the members are sure to have a lot to say about the plans. In the end, however, some of the decisions may depend on how much money is left.

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