Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 9/6/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Before a shovel has even been put into the ground, the Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf family owners are already seeing the benefits of the state's approval for a new stadium.The Vikings had a 22 percent jump in value, the biggest increase in the NFL, in Forbes magazine's annual rankings released Wednesday. Forbes' analysis put the Vikings' worth at 975 million, ranking 22nd out of the 32 NFL teams and up from 796 million in 2011 when the club was ranked 28th.In May, the state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis voted approval for a new 975 million stadium for the team to be built on the site of the current Metrodome, with 348 million of the costs being provided by the state. The city will contribute 150 million in up-front costs and 159 million in operating costs over the next 30 years, with the team contributing 477 million in construction costs as well as 13 million annually for operations.The new stadium is scheduled to open in 2016, and the team's value could rise once the stadium opens. An ownership group led by New Jersey businessman Zygi Wilf bought the Vikings from previous owner Red McCombs in 2005 for 600 million and immediately continued McCombs' pursuit of a new stadium to be built with public financing, replacing the outdated Metrodome, which opened in 1982. McCombs had bought the Vikings in 1998 for 250 million.The San Francisco 49ers, the other NFL team to secure financing for a new stadium had a 19 percent increase to 1.18 billion. The Dallas Cowboys were ranked as the NFL's most valuable team for the sixth straight year, worth a total of 2.1 billion, a 14 percent increase from 2011. Forbes reported the Cowboys are the first American sports franchise worth more than 2 billion. Manchester United, a soccer club in the English Premier League, is the only team worth more, being valued at 2.24 billion. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
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