Neighborhood organizations to decide how they’ll spend Vikings’ money

Alex Bitter

The Minnesota Vikings are looking for high-visibility projects to fund in the neighborhoods adjacent to the University of Minnesota ahead of their arrival at TCF Bank Stadium next year.

At a meeting Wednesday night hosted by the Southeast Como Improvement Association, representatives from the team said the neighborhoods can apply for part of a cash grant that the football team will make available through the Vikings Good Neighbor Partnership Fund.

“It should have some kind of visibility and be able to be widely understood and seen as a community improvement,” Jan Morlock, said the University’s director of Community Relations, who was involved in initial discussions with the Vikings about the fund.

The University’s contract with the Vikings stipulates the team must pay $90,000 and donate $35,000 in-kind, like donations of goods and services, for each season they play at TCF.

Vikings associate counsel Kieron Frazier said the in-kind donations could come from the team’s sponsors, like if Lowe’s were to donate gardening supplies, for example.

“We have a plethora of sponsors throughout the Twin Cities,” he said. “It’s really just as creative as you can be.”

Along with Southeast Como, the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, West Bank Community Coalition, West Bank Business Association, Dinkytown Business Association, Stadium Village Commercial Association and the Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association also attended the meeting on Wednesday.

The University’s Good Neighbor Fund Management Committee will oversee the money and award the grants, for which Morlock said all members of the Stadium Area Advisory Group are eligible.

For more on what the neighborhoods plan to do with the Vikings’ contribution to the Good Neighbor Fund, pick up Monday’s Minnesota Daily.