Posted at 5:25 PM on July 15, 2011
by Paul Tosto
GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Senate DFL leader Tom Bakk and Gov. Mark Dayton all said at some point in the past couple days that the subject of a Vikings football stadium bill hadn't surfaced for weeks and made it clear that it was unlikely to come up during a special session to finalize a budget and end the state shutdown.
The Vikings, however, still see an opportunity.
The Star Tribune this afternoon reports:
Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf told Gov. Mark Dayton in a Friday telephone call that "the time is now" for a new football stadium in Arden Hills, according to team Vice President Lester Bagley.
Dayton was noncommittal about his intentions regarding a stadium in the special session, although the governor also met Friday with Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chairman Ted Mondale. Mondale declined to comment on the conversation.
Bagley said the team is "still working on this special session, we're trying to see what's possible." Although a deal is not complete, Bagley said an agreement could be reached in two hours and meetings are possible over the weekend.
The most recent public plan called for a $1 billion stadium on a former munitions site in Arden Hills at the connection of 35W and Highway 10. The Vikings would pay $407 million. Another $350 million would come from a half-cent sales-tax increase in Ramsey County and $300 million from the state. Bagley, however, has said recent discussions have involved reducing the size and cost of the stadium.
So next week should be entertaining.
I'm still not convinced that Arden Hills is where a Viking Stadium will be built. I think it will be in Downtown Mpls. With Light-Rail from St.Paul coming into Downtown.. Plans are going to change.
At best, this budget "deal" is tenuous. At worst, oit is a house of cards that could seemingly collapse at any moment.
Tens of thousands of Minnesotans are out of work, services of all types have been stopped or curtailed, and an extended shutdown is sure to being more chaos and instability into an already lousy situation. And what would these folks like? Why, they would like a new stadium! With a bow tie!
Will a simple NO suffice?