Friday, November 4, 2011

What's the deal with the Minnesota Vikings Stadium?

So the lease is coming up on the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome and they are currently, wanting a new stadium to be built within the next few years. Only problem, one of the prospects is an old Army Ammunition location that would literally cost around $200M more because the site has to be thoroughly cleaned, the transportation infrastructure has to be totally rebuilt, and of course, the stadium would have to be built.

Rybak offers 3 Vikings stadium sites in Minneapolis; hard sell expected

While the Vikings reiterated that Arden Hills is the "ideal stadium site" for the team, state and fans, Rybak insisted he's not too late.
Mayor R.T. Rybak detailed plans Thursday for three potential sites in downtown Minneapolis for a Vikings stadium, financed with a sales and lodging tax or revenue from a downtown casino.

"I'd be too late if somebody was standing out in Arden Hills with a shovel today, but I don't see that happening right now," the mayor said at a Capitol news conference.

"The Vikings are obviously a critical partner in where their home will be, but so is the state and so is the local partner," Rybak said. "What's important is to follow the invitation of the governor, to put every good idea on the table, which we are doing."

Gov. Mark Dayton has called on those with stadium ideas to submit them in writing in the next week so he can craft his own recommendation by Nov. 7.

The Democratic governor has said he will call a special legislative session before Thanksgiving to act on a stadium bill if lawmakers agree to limit their actions to that issue.

Dayton is remaining neutral on where a stadium should be built. Early Thursday, he got an aerial tour of the Arden Hills site. He was scheduled to meet with legislative leaders this morning on the matter.
The stadium plan favored by the Vikings calls for a $1.1 billion stadium on 430 acres in Arden Hills. The state would pick up $300 million of the cost, Ramsey County $350 million (through a 0.5 percent sales tax) and the team at least $420 million. 

But even after the Vikings pledged themselves to the Arden Hills plan in May, Minneapolis kept hoping, Rybak said.

"We stood back, but we kept working," he said. "We kept vetting these plans and getting them ready and, again, when we see an opening, we came in and did this."

Rybak proposed renovating the aging Metrodome ($895 million price tag) or building stadiums at the Farmers' Market site ($1.05 billion) or on an adjacent Linden Avenue parcel near the Basilica of St. Mary ($1.03 billion).

Much of the land at the Linden Avenue site is owned by Xcel Energy and the city, Rybak said.
In any of the three scenarios, funding to pay off the bonds would come from a citywide 0.35 percent sales tax and a 1 percent additional lodging tax or a percentage of revenues plus a $20 million license fee from a privately operated casino at Block E. also has a great update and pics of some proposals.