Shakopee makes last-minute Vikings stadium bidby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Officials and business leaders from Shakopee say they've got a great spot in their city to host the Minnesota Vikings.
Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke and business leaders announced their bid Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol, handing in a proposal a day before Gov. Mark Dayton's deadline.
They're offering to lay out a new plan to host the Vikings, at what was supposed to be the ADC telecommunications headquarters near the intersection of Highway 169 and County Road 101.
"The Vikings clearly want a site with options, and the Shakopee site provides that," Tabke said in a statement to SaveTheVikes.org. "There is room for a 75,000 seat stadium and 22,000 tailgaters."
Shakopee has the capacity to host events as big as an NFL season, Tabke said.
The site's supporters say it's on a 130-acre lot (four times size of the current Metrodome site), adjacent to a city-owned 105-acre lot zoned for park and recreation that contains a lake, and within Shakopee's "entertainment corridor" that includes ValleyFair and Canterbury Park, and just a few minutes by car from Mystic Lake.
"Obviously, getting 75,000 fans in and out of a stadium is going to be a huge thing. We get 6 million people in and out of Shakopee every year, and so we know that we can handle this type of thing," Tabke said. "There need to be minimal upgrades done to our infrastructure in order to get this taken care of."
Supporter Cory Merrifield says initial estimates put the cost of the project at just over $900 million, which would make it the cheaper than the options provided by Minneapolis or Ramsey County. He says proceeds from casino games at nearby Canterbury Park would help fund the public share of the stadium. Supporters also offered a scratch-off lottery game and Vikings-themed vehicle license plates as potential sources of revenue.
"You have this 130-acre lot that's sitting there wide open, with a lot of infrastructure, and it's what we could use for a Vikings stadium," Merrifield said. "So we think it's a tremendous opportunity to give the Vikings an alternative to Arden Hills."
The bid doesn't have formal city backing yet, and doesn't include any local tax revenue. It also comes just a day before the stadium deadline set by Gov. Mark Dayton.
Dayton said he just learned about the Shakopee proposal, but he said he'll consider all options.
"I haven't looked at it at all," Dayton said. "But sure, if they have a serious proposal and they want to submit it by by 5:00 tomorrow, I'd certainly be willing to look at it."
Ramsey County has a deal with the Vikings to build a facility in Arden Hills dating back to May, but recent news reports have suggested that state officials believe the deal won't be closed.
Dayton, on the the other hand, said his administration believes the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills is still a contender in the stadium race.
City officials in Minneapolis have said they want the team to stay on the site of the Metrodome, and the team says it's still open to the idea, but believes the reconsidered dome site would be more expensive to develop than the city's original proposal suggested.
The cost of playing for three seasons at University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, where seating and other upgrades would add $11 million to the price tag. Additional parking for the dome could also cost $20 million. But the team says the plan is workable.
The news comes just as neighbors of another Minneapolis site on the west side of downtown are pushing back against a proposed stadium there.
A site near the Basilica of St. Mary is still under study, as well. But the The rector of the Basilica, John Bauer, says a stadium on Linden Avenue would be only about a football field away from the church's back yard, just across I-394. The stadium site also includes the Xcel Energy parking lot where the annual Basilica Block Party fundraiser takes place.
"We want to be good neighbors, but we have some concerns that we think need to be addressed," Bauer said.
(MPR reporter Tim Pugmire contributed to this report.)
The proposed Shakopee stadeium site is just west of the intersection of Highway 169 and County Road 101.
View Shakopee stadium site in a larger map