The Big Story Blog

Dayton: Vikings must decide if stadium delays, costs OK

Posted at 11:30 AM on October 12, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport

(MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)

With a new report out showing building a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills will take longer and probably cost more than originally thought, Gov. Mark Dayton today said it was time for the Vikings to say if they'd be willing to wait.

"Now it is time to decide whether or not to undertake this project and, if so, where to locate it and how to pay for it," Dayton said in a statement. "The Vikings owners must tell us whether they will accept the possibly longer time line to build the stadium at their preferred Arden Hills site, and whether they will pay for any resulting additional costs."

Vikings officials are expected to make a statement today around 12:30 p.m.

The current Arden Hills proposal calls for a new stadium to open for the 2015 football season. But the Metropolitan Council report concludes that's aggressive and unrealistic and says 2016 or 2017 is more likely, given the contamination cleanup and other issues at the site.

As governor, Dayton would need to call a special session of the Legislature to approve a public financing structure. He's talked about being willing to do that but only if there's an acceptable plan in place. He's essentially staying neutral on Arden Hills.

In his statement, Dayton added:

If this project is to proceed, the Vikings management and the state and local decision-makers must agree upon the stadium's location, its projected costs and timetable for completion there, each party's share of those costs, the means to finance them, and the assignments of powers and responsibilities to the individual public and private partners, as well as to the ultimately controlling public authority.

He said he continues to support the idea of a "People's Stadium" and will meet with state and local officials and Vikings owners in coming days.

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.

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