Minutes for February 21, 2012

2020 Partners Stadium Metrics Meeing

HGA, Ford Center

Meeting Minutes – Draft

Attendees: Paul Adelmann, Dennis Alfton, Mark Anderson, Don Armstrong, Scott Barriball, Terrance Bartlett, Peter Bruce, Joan Campbell, Jackie Cherryhomes-Tyler, Matt Clark, Raymond Dehn, Alice Eichholz, Brent Erickson, David Fields, Jamil Ford, David Frank, Reed Gilkey, Jim Goblirsch, Brian Hage, Marybeth Harris, Brad Henry, Denise Holt, Bob Iwaskeayez, Kim Kalinoski, Joanne Kaufman, Dan Kenney, David Kingman, Brian Kimmes, Nick Koch, Chuck Leer, Bill Madden, Tim Mahoney, Mark Oyaas, Duane Petersen, Robert Pfefferle, Lynn Regnier, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, Mark Stenglein, Carletta Sweet, Jacques Trace, Douglas Wardlow, Dale White

1.   Welcome and Introductions

2.   Downtown 2025 Plan, Nick Koch filling in for Sarah Harris, DID

Referencing the success of the 2010 Plan, the Downtown Council rolled out a new plan that includes 10 initiatives:

  1. Doubling downtown Minneapolis’ residential population to 70,000. The north end of Nicollet Avenue is a top priority for housing.
  2. Transform Nicollet into a “must see” destination. Nicollet becomes the Greenest Urban Street in North America.
  3. Build Gateway Park. The metro region’s “central park” creates a grand connection between the core of downtown and the Mississippi River.
  4. Create a consistently compelling downtown experience. Nicollet, Hennepin and First Avenues become a “triple spine” of arts and entertainment experiences year-round, day and night.
  5. Establish a downtown sports district that includes a new Vikings stadium. Renovate Target Center, update the Farmers Market and build the transportation interchange as part of the process.
  6. Lead the nation in transportation options. Improved capacity for auto and transit commuters encourages new jobs, housing and business vitality.
  7. Create and sustain a green infrastructure. Showcase the riverfront as a world-class destination and downtown’s green focal point.
  8. Forge connections to the University of Minnesota. Establish a new residential district on the Metrodome site that links to the U.
  9. End street homelessness. Become the first major U.S. downtown to solve this chronic problem.
  10. Launch a festival of ideas. Popular idea festivals around the country can be models for a Minneapolis event.
    To see the full plan, including a downloadable PDF: Downtown 2025

Koch also referenced a report by the Urban Land Institute following the collapse of the 35W Bridge that relates to development in that area: Urban Land Institute. If you follow this link, you will find a report from a ULI National Development Panel that was carried out in the wake of the I-35W bridge collapse: Urban Land Institute. The group looked at the land and connections around the bridge; CBD, Downtown East, Elliot Park and University of Minnesota. They made redevelopment recommendations five years ago that predict topics under discussion now. [Note: In Slide #17 they use the phrase, “Making Midtown the Glue.” As out-of-towners, they used this term to describe an area along Washington Avenue to Seven Corners that includes the Metrodome as a development site.]

3.   Brown Bag Planning Session – February 17 

Chuck Leer, Chair of 2020 Partners, wants to acknowledge and thank those who participated: Paul Adelmann, Dave Albersman, Dennis Alfton, Eric Amel, Don Armstrong, Bret Borth, Susan Braun, Joan Campbell, Matt Clark, Alice Eichholz, Brent Erickson, Phil Essington, David Fields, Jamil Ford, David Galey, Reed Gilkey, David Graham, Richard Green, Brian Hage, Marybeth Harris, Denise Holt, Kenny Horns, Kim Kalinoski, Joanne Kaufman, Dan Kenney, Brian Kimmes, David Kingman, Nick Koch, Bruce Lambrecht, Chuck Leer, Bill Madden, Sherman Malkerson, Geoff Martin, Aaron Neubauer, James Neubauer, Mark Oyaas, Robert Pfefferle, Rick Prescott, Lynn Regnier, Peter Roos, Karen Rosar, Bob Salmen, John Saunders, Ion Skillrud, Mark Stenglein, Carletta Sweet, Marsha Wagner, and Dale White.

Koch briefly reviewed the presentation given by Kobi Bradley, Populous, at the Brown Bag Seminar on February 17, showing how the design principles identified by DAG-360 were incorporated into Target Field. It highlighted these design principles: Green and Sustainable; Explore Connections; Transportation Hub; Unique Place/Identity. In considering a site for a new Vikings Stadium, it included urban and suburban site requirements based on recent construction projects around the country. Bradley’s presentation has been posted on The 2020 Partners website.

Brown Bag Planning Session Recommendations – Mark Oyaas

  • Referencing the principles adopted by DAG 360, Oyaas pointed out that these conversations have not taken place about a Vikings stadium. Before proceeding we need to ask “why” a new stadium, then “where” and finally “how.”
  • Dave Albersman and Don Armstrong conducted an exercise on urban planning/stadium metrics. After brief remarks on each item, audience members were asked to rank four potential sites—Farmer’s Market, Linden Avenue, Metrodome, and 511 (Metrodome East)—1 to 3 (worst to best) on the following:
  1. Rail, Bus, Bike and Walk
  2. Land Assembly
  3. Parking/Roadway Access
  4. Skyway System
  5. Bars and Restaurants
  6. Redevelopment Need
  7. Highest and Best Land Use
  8. Land Value
  9. Interim Location 
  • Using this first step toward a scorecard, the meeting planners developed the following set of criteria which will be used to further the discussion about a stadium, narrowing the choices to two: Metrodome East and Stadium District:
  1. Sustainability
  2. Walkability/Skyway Connections
  3. Rail/Bus/Bike
  4. Paring/Roadway Access
  5. Bars & Restaurants
  6. Land Value
  7. Redevelopment Catalyst
  8. Highest & Best Use
  9. Jobs: Construction, Long-Term
  10. Overall Project Cost
  11. Contribute Toward Long-Term Vision/Plan
  12. Identity

Following presentation of this “12 Step Plan” the audience was asked for feedback. Several “looks good” audibles were noted, with a call for more specifics, which came out in the ensuing discussion.

4.   2020 Partners Action Steps – Chuck Leer

Leer invited Peter Bruce, Pedestrian Studies Consultant, to speak to the topic of Walkability.

  • Bruce asked the audience what “walkability” meant to them. Responses: perceived safety, eyes on the street, intuitive connections (how to get there), one-half mile radius, active uses at bottoms of buildings (no blank storefronts, visual interest), occasional unexpected surprises (artwork), cleanliness (no litter or garbage). 
  • For transit purposes, a 3-4 block walk is acceptable; 5 blocks for special events. But a 6 block walk can feel shorter if the streets are filled with vitality.
  • To increase an area’s vitality we need to get more people on the street. Again asking the audience for input, Bruce asked what could be done to make people feel like taking longer walks. Responses: connections (street level connect to skyways), green, fountains, plaza (raised but not covered), programming and public art/murals, way-finding cues, benches, market district (open all seasons, make it well known).
  • Leer sought input on where we go from here. The following ideas were captured by Oyaas on a whiteboard as the discussion unfolded:
    o  Vitality, or in Vikings-speak, Game Day Experience
    o  Tailgating
    o  Active Engagement with Neighborhoods
    o  Common Form of Scorecard; more emphasis on Game Day Experience
  • It became apparent that the Game Day Experience—walking to/from the Stadium, what people do and where they go before and after the game, etc.—is of great importance, along with tailgating.
  • It was noted that the Vikings have not talked to the Elliot Park Neighborhood (EPN) group about their current proposal (Metrodome East). They did have a dialogue with them for 1-1/2 years when they assumed it would be the Metrodome site, but that stopped last fall when alternate sites were introduced. The Vikings have never come before the Downtown Minnesota Neighborhood Association. Elected officials at state and local level also have not spoken with the neighborhood groups to get input from their members.
  • The Metrodome has had a negative impact on EPN. Nobody is talking about redevelopment at Metrodome site if the new Stadium is not there.
  • EPN has been working on an alternative vision for the site for two years. Common assumption has been EPN wants a stadium on the Dome site; they said they do not. They sent a Stadium Position Statement to elected officials and stakeholders. That Statement can be found on their website: Stadium Position Statement and on The 2020 Partners’ website blog. Also posted on the blog are two additional documents which can be found at www.elliotparkneighborhood.org, but they are not visible if you are using Internet Explorer as your browser: DEEP District-The Imperative, and DEEP District-The Opportunity.
  • Representatives from the 2020 Partners were invited to attend a joint meeting of downtown neighborhood groups on Monday, February 27, from 4:00-5:30 pm at the Mill City Museum. 
  • Leer noted that there’s been nothing from the downtown business community on the Stadium District site. Are political issues preventing them from speaking out? The Vikings did not give notice to move by the deadline (February 15) so they are here for another season. That eliminates the rush to get a stadium deal done this year. Why are downtown interests moving east? 
  • EPN has the same question. Behind closed doors business and development communities have supported the Stadium District, with redevelopment at the Metrodome site.
  • Dennis Alfton, who spent 33 years on the staff of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, was invited to speak. He said the Vikings have been all over the map with this. Staff looked at remodeling the Metrodome but Vikings said no, then went on to Blaine, back to the Metrodome, then Arden Hills, and now back again to the Metrodome. Money is the most important aspect, especially to the owners, when they eventually sell the team. Los Angeles is still in the mix; lots of power and different situations going on out there. Alfton noted that the Stadium Commission never fully analyzed any of the sites to see where the best fit was. Years ago he suggested the Farmer’s Market site, said it’s the perfect site with tailgating under I-394 bridges and near Dunwoody. As far as year-round events at the Stadium, he said that there are only 30-40 days of any significant use at the Metrodome, and no major event will come back to Minneapolis because of our weather. 
  • Bottom Line: 2020 Partners has stepped forward and said it’s time to start the conversation from the beginning, not the middle or presumed end.

5.   Next meeting: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, location TBD.

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