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The Metrodome is currently the home stadium of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

With the Super Bowl just a few weeks away, this year’s ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition looks at how stadiums can spur redevelopment. A Minneapolis site, adjacent to the proposed location for a new NFL stadium in Downtown East, has been selected as this year’s focus.  The ideas competition, open to graduate-level students will provide multidisciplinary teams the opportunity to propose a long-term development plan that creates value for property owners, city residents, and the greater Twin Cities region.

Now underway, the 2013 competition challenges teams to create a practical and workable scheme for a section of Downtown East. The competition is based on a hypothetical scenario in which two property owners have entered into an agreement in which they evaluate the benefits and financial possibilities of combining their parcels. The owners’ properties, now used mostly as surface parking lots, will be analyzed to determine if the parcels could be redeveloped or sold as one large development site.

While based on a fictional situation, the 2013 Hines competition tackles city and local stakeholders’ desire to redevelop Downtown East as interest builds in anticipation of the new stadium. Since the original proposal to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings to replace the aging Metrodome, debate has continued on how city leaders and developers could transform the surrounding area characterized by sprawling parking lots and an assortment of buildings. Given downtown’s nearly 25 percent increase in residents since 2000, supporters see the area as having the potential of being transformed in an economically vibrant and livable environment.

160 teams from 70 universities have entered this year’s competition, with the winner being announced in April.

For more information on the ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, visit: http://udcompetition.org