The Big Story Blog

Vikes: Arden Hills stadium site viable without local tax

Posted at 4:29 PM on November 1, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport, Taxes

A new football stadium in Arden Hills remains a viable option even without a local sales tax, Minnesota Vikings officials said this afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said Arden Hills remains the ideal site and "we'll put our heads together with Ramsey County to try to move a package forward."

The optimism expressed came despite Gov. Mark Dayton's statement earlier in the day that the votes are not there in the Legislature to let Ramsey County or the city of Minneapolis go ahead with a sales tax increase without a public referendum.

Ramsey County had expected to raise $350 million with its sales tax increase to help pay for the $1.1 billion project with the state expected to kick in $300 million and Vikings owners putting in more than $400 million.

News that the local sales tax was no longer an option threw the whole financing plan into question. It means the state must find a way to raise $650 million for that plan.

Bagley, though, insisted the news today improved the focus and indicated that other tax options, such as a memorabilia tax, were not taken off the table and that only the sales tax option has been eliminated.

He also reiterated that the Vikings have had no conversations with Minneapolis about building a stadium there.

Dayton still expects to make his own recommendation on a financing package on Nov. 7 with the hope of calling a special session on the Vikings stadium before Thanksgiving.

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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