The Big Story Blog

Ramsey County ups ante in Vikings stadium push

Posted at 1:15 PM on January 12, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Sport

Ramsey County officials are sweetening the deal for a proposed Vikiings stadium in Arden Hills with and more local money to help pay for the project in Arden Hills via a proposed three percent drink and food tax, says MPR News reporter Tim Nelson.

Nelson writes:

The stadium proposal signed by county board chairman Rafael Ortega says the county will commit to a $375 million contribution to a proposed Vikings stadium in Arden Hills. That's a $25 million increase over the deal the county initially reached with the team last May.

In addition, the county's bid includes an updated agreement with the team. In it, the Vikings put their proposed contribution at $425 million, up from their initial $407 million dollar offer. The team had mentioned the improved offer before, but put it in writing with the county's bid today.

It's the first of what are expected to be several stadium bids submitted to Gov. Mark Dayton today, ahead of his stadium deadline. Spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci says he will be looking them over in the next few days.

Ramsey County officials proposed the food and drink tax last month. They argue that, unlike the sales tax, the food and drink levy doesn't require a referendum.

A referendum "could be forced through petition," Nelson adds, "but it isn't clear if that could be done in time, or retroactive if the deal is done before a ballot."

Here's the Ramsey County plan:

2012 RAMCO Stadium Proposal

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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