Dayton drops 'optimistic' description of Vikings stadium dealby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton emerged Tuesday from a meeting with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, as well as the team attorney and chief financial officer, to say there is no breakthrough yet in a stadium financing deal with the team.
Neither side said their differences were major, but did say there's no resolution in sight. Dayton said went so far as to say he doesn't know whether a resolution is even possible.
"I'm hopeful. I don't use the word optimistic with this project any longer, and I don't use specific timetables any more," the governor said. "But everyone knows that the clock is ticking in terms of the legislative session. So, I think if we are going to get something nailed down, probably the end of next week, but it needs to be soon."
Dayton said that his chief stadium negotiator, Ted Mondale, would be meeting with Minneapolis officials on Wednesday to try and tie up some of the loose ends on the city's bid to host the team at the current site of the Metrodome.
Wilf said he was still trying to win support at the Capitol, as well.
"I am on the phone with the Capitol and everyone here on a daily and nightly basis," Wilf said. "I do feel that we do understand the process and what it'll take to get everyone on board."
He declined to say what he and the rest of the Vikings ownership were willing to pay for a Minneapolis stadium. He also said it wasn't clear how long, or if the Vikings would have to play at TCF Bank stadium while their new home was being built.
Lack of support on the Minneapolis City Council is also a sticking point in the negotiations. The stadium bid by Mayor R.T. Rybak has yet to win over a majority on the 13-member council.
Dayton says he hopes they'll come around.
"They're going to have to decide whether they can support a stadium project in Minneapolis or not," he said. "They're the ones that will have to be accountable to the people of Minneapolis, the people of Minnesota for their decision. I am again, hopeful. I'm not going to say optimistic, but hopeful that they will realize that this is a tremendous boon in terms of jobs, in terms of downtown revitalization, in terms of a future of the city that's a bigger picture than some of them look at it now."