The Big Story Blog

Dayton: No breakthroughs in Vikings stadium talks

Posted at 11:46 AM on October 28, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport

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Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders left a long morning meeting saying there were no breakthroughs on how the public might help pay for a new Vikings stadium or where it would go.

Lawmakers sounded surprisingly uncertain about a special legislative session to vote on a Vikings bill this fall. Dayton has proposed voting by Thanksgiving on a Vikings bill and plans to make his own recommendation to lawmakers.

MPR News reporter Tom Scheck is tweeting from outside the governor's office where the meeting just broke up.

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UPDATE: Here's Scheck's full report:

Gov. Dayton says there was no "breakthrough moment" in his behind closed door meetings with legislative leaders. Dayton, who briefed reporters along side of House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, said they talked a variety of financing options but declined to identify them. He also didn't specify whether the stadium should be build in Minneapolis of Arden Hills.

"We're looking at the various options, and discussing the tradeoffs that are involved, and also identifying the additional pieces of information that we need before we can make a decision, Dayton said. "You can't ask people to make a decision when they don't have all the facts. We've definitely clarified some of the remaining pieces of information, and and tasked members of our staffs to develop that information. There's no breakthrough moment to discuss, because we haven't reached that point."

Dayton says he'll release a stadium plan the week of Nov. 7 and hopes to call a special session for the week of Nov. 21. GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said the decision on a special session is left to Dayton.

"I wouldn't say that we're ready for that at this point," Koch said. "But that's the governor's call and we're going to continue discussions and keep working."

The Minnesota Vikings say they want to build the stadium in Arden Hills - that plan includes a half cent sales tax increase in Ramsey County. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is pushing to build the stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Dayton and GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers were also careful to note that they are neutral on whether to use Legacy Amendment money to finance the stadium. GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch told MPR News on Thursday that she's open to using Legacy funds to pay for the stadium.

Zellers declined to say whether the talks got them any closer to a final deal. Instead, he said there were plenty of things to discuss like the three new proposed sites in Minneapolis.

This is a complicated process that is going to take a creative solution," Zellers said. "That takes time."

Dayton said he'll meet again with legislative leaders next week.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.