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The Big Story Blog: January 18, 2012 Archive

Vikings: 3 viable options for stadium

Posted at 1:28 PM on January 18, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport

The Vikings view three sites - Arden Hills, the Linden Avenue parcel in Minneapolis and the current Metrodome site - as viable options for a new stadium, Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said this afternoon.

While Arden Hills in suburban Ramsey County remains the Vikings' desired site, Bagley told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk this afternoon that team officials and lawmakers are "grinding through" all three propsals.

"I think it's down to hammering out a site and a local contribution," he said, adding, "the advantage probably goes to Minneapolis" on the local tax issue because the city would be able to redirect taxes it currently levies to help pay for a new stadium. Ramsey County is proposing a three percent food and beverage tax.

Bagley effectively ruled out other sites beyond the three, including a last-minute entry from Shakopee to build a stadium there.

Here are some of the other specifics he discussed.

Deadline? With its lease on the Metrodome expired, Bagley said there is a Feb. 15 internal NFL deadline to inform the league if a team expressing interest in relocating for the next season. "It's not a deadline we're focused on," Bagley added. "We're going to get it done here."

Pursued by other cities? Bagley said as recently as last fall two cities checked in with the Vikings on the potential for relocating the team. That includes developers with competing plans for stadiums in Los Angeles and one other city he declined to name. "We need to keep our focus on getting it done in Minnesota," he reiterated.

Besides a local tax, state officials would need to find a politically acceptable way to raise the state's portion of a stadium plan, roughly $300 million.

Earlier today on MPR News, state legislative leaders expressed confidence that a Vikings stadium package would at least get an up or down vote in the upcoming session.

"We're going to line up and kick the football and see where it goes... the debate will commence," said Senate Republican leader Dave Senjem.

2:30 PM UPDATE: Gov. Mark Dayton declined to pick a favorite site for a new Vikings stadium, MPR News reporter Madeleine Baran reports:

Gov. Mark Dayton declined to endorse a specific site for the proposed new Vikings stadium Wednesday and said questions remain about the financial viability of the Vikings-preferred site in Arden Hills.

Dayton said Metrodome "workable" as new Vikings stadium site, but says Arden Hills and Linden Avenue are better options Despite the lack of an endorsement, Dayton said he thinks the stadium issue could be resolved in this year's legislative session.

"I think we're at the five yard line, first and goal," he said.

The governor said he spent the weekend reviewing Vikings stadium proposals. Last week, Dayton told reporters that he might endorse a site if one stood out as the most desirable and feasible.

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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