'Concert wars' wage in Twin Cities - KMSP-TV

'Concert wars' wage in Twin Cities

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Some Minnesota lawmakers are worried the new Minnesota Vikings stadium will add yet another player to the "concert wars" waging in the Twin Cities as venues go head-to-head to book headliners.

Construction has yet to begin on the new stadium, artist sketches have surfaced of what the facility will look like for Gopher baseball, hockey and of course, concerts. While there's nothing wrong with some healthy competition, Minnesotans may end up paying for it.

"We've got the other 350 days to program, and with this new facility, I guarantee you we are going to be attracting events," Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen told the Minneapolis Rotary Club on Friday.

Kelm-Helgen said each stadium has its niche -- for instance, Target Center only seats 25,000 compared to 65,000 at the Vikings stadium. The way the legislation was written says other venues can ask to coordinate marketing, which hasn't happened yet with the Vikings stadium, she said.

It's not just Target Center and the Xcel Energy Center clawing for rights to big names, it can happen at Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium and even smaller outdoor venues.

"Right now, we've got all these tax payer-funded venues that are competing against one another and they drive the price down, sometimes to zero," Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) said. He's asking lawmakers to step in to mediate the tug-of-war between Twin Cities concert venues.

Some lawmakers would prefer all venues fell under the same management umbrella so each could have a fair slice of the scheduling pie.

There's about 50 major concert events each year in the Twin Cities, but some experts say there's simply too many venues to levy. A legislative commission will take a closer look on Thursday about what's next for the Vikings new stadium and other competing locations.

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