Officials want stadium deal resolved today, but negotiations will go onby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — State officials hoped to have a proposal for a Vikings stadium wrapped up Friday, but backers say talks will go on even if there is no deal yet.
The team and Ramsey County have agreed in principal on a billion-dollar development deal on the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills. But talks have been hung up for weeks on who will pay for the roads around the new stadium.
The Vikings were in negotiations Thursday with the Minnesota Department of Transportation but no breakthroughs have been reported yet.
Stadium bill sponsor Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said this week he wants to finalize a deal to prepare for a potential special legislative session.
"I mean you can't just drop a bill the day of a special session and expect a fair hearing," Lanning said. "People are going to want to see that in advance, they're going to want to have an opportunity to hear about it, debate it, [and] raise questions about it. Even if it's only an information hearing, they're going to want that."
But Lanning also said that Friday isn't a hard deadline. He said that officials don't want to push a deal into next year, and will continue to work on the stadium proposal as state budget talks proceed.
"When it can move forward depends upon when a budget resolution comes, and then at that point, we can be moving forward on the next phase of a proposal," he said.
The Vikings may start the final season of their lease on the Metrodome in August, barring a continued lockout by the league's owners. They've offered to pay about 40 percent of a new stadium's cost.
- All Things Considered, 06/17/2011, 5:22 p.m.