Vikings launch stadium ad campaign

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings are rolling out an ad campaign that makes the case for a new stadium with footage of heroes like Bud Grant and the promise of jobs and economic development.

The team said Monday its campaign would run for several weeks and would include radio, print and online ads. Its first TV spots were scheduled to air on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" matchup between the Vikings and Green Bay Packers.

The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome expires after this season, and they want public help for a $1.1 billion stadium in a St. Paul suburb. The team has said its share would be more than $400 million.

Several downtown Minneapolis sites are also in play. Gov. Mark Dayton has pressed for a special session to consider a stadium bill before the end of the year, but lawmakers have yet to write one.

The Vikings said their campaign would "arm fans and supporters with the facts" about the stadium debate. Spokesman Jeff Anderson would not say how much the team planned to spend on the campaign, but called it "a comprehensive ad buy."

"Our goal is to reach as many Minnesotans as possible," Anderson said.

Anderson said the campaign would include three to four public events at stops around the state over the next few weeks. None are definitely scheduled, he said, but they are likely to include participation from current and former Vikings players.

The 30- and 60-second ads released Monday make a heavy play for nostalgia, with images of old Vikings in snow and a steely-eyed Grant, the team's coach during a run of four Super Bowl appearances in the 1970s.

The ads describe the hoped-for stadium as a "multipurpose facility" that can host events ranging from prep championships to future Super Bowls. And they say a stadium project would provide more than 7,000 jobs and $300 million in wages.