Pawlenty: Taxes won't pay for new Vikings stadiumby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty is downplaying expectations for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, but he's also keeping the door open for some kind of state involvement.
During his weekly radio show Friday, Pawlenty described the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission's new stadium design as an easy move compared to finding a financing solution.
In his words, "Anybody can hire an architect and design a stadium. The problem is who is going to pay for it."
He also mentioned that he met privately with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf this week to discuss the stadium issue. Pawlenty indicated those discussions are ongoing.
"Obviously there's some things they need. There's some thing we can't provide. I'm obviously, for example, not going to raise state taxes to get something like this thing done," said Pawlenty. "But there may be some things that can be done from a Vikings perspective that would help toward a solution. So we're just trying to focus the discussion on identifying on what each side can't do, and then focus on those things that we can do."
Vikings officials are pushing for legislative action on a stadium in 2010. The team's Metrodome lease expire in two years.
On Thursday, consultants showed off renderings for a stadium envisioned for the current Metrodome site. They said it would cost $870 million if construction begins next year. The Vikings reacted coolly to the proposal.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)