Rybak disputes Dayton claim on stadium developmentby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said Thursday that he disagrees with Gov. Mark Dayton that the proposed Linden Avenue site for a new Vikings stadium would offer more opportunities for economic development.
Rybak continues to believe the current Metrodome site would be a better place to put a new stadium than Linden Avenue, which is on the other side of downtown near the Basilica of St. Mary and Target Field.
"As we build the Central Corridor, it'll be the intersection of the lines that come from between Minneapolis, the university and St. Paul, from Bloomington and the airport. It's a real center of transit," Rybak told MPR's Morning Edition. "We have land available there, right near the riverfront, where thousands and thousands of housing units have been added."
Dayton didn't endorse any of the three stadium proposals during a news conference Wednesday but said he's leaning toward the Linden Avenue site. The third site is the former Army ammunition plant in Arden Hills, which Ramsey County is backing.
Despite Rybak's preference for the Metrodome site, he said he'd be happy with a new Vikings stadium at the Linden Avenue site.
"If people choose the other place, we're thrilled with that too and we'll get it done," he said.
Rybak also defended the city's proposal to pay a local share. Dayton called the plan "meager" and questioned its details after reviewing stadium plans submitted last week.
"We have spent many, many, many days analyzing how that can be done using the existing sales tax and it's a very complicated plan," Rybak said. "It's definitely not meager. It's definitely well thought out."
Besides Rybak's preference for the Metrodome site, the Linden Avenue site faces opposition from the Basilica of St. Mary.
Rector John Bauer is concerned that traffic on game days will disrupt its ministry to low-income residents.
He echoed comments he made Wednesday during a news conference, saying the church is ready to fight the stadium in court, if necessary.
"Progress of the discussion on the Linden Avenue site has occurred so rapidly, that we're trying to play a little bit of catch up," Bauer told MPR's Morning Edition. "We're looking at what all of our options are, and that would include some legal options."
The church is also concerned that construction on a new stadium might damage its historic building. Bauer said church officials hope to meet Friday with Dayton.
- Morning Edition, 01/19/2012, 6:55 a.m.
Tim Nelson is a general assignment reporter for MPR News.