By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Efforts to win legislative approval of a new publicly-owned Vikings football stadium are coming down to the wire.  

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley admits, “The 2011 session is a critical session for us.”

That’s because after 10 years of talking and little action, the team is running out of options and patience.

The Viking’s lease at the Metrodome is set to expire in just 10 home games, at the end of the 2011 NFL season. So Minnesota lawmakers will get their best, and perhaps final, shot at approving a new stadium when the next session begins in early January.  But the question becomes, if one is eventually approved, where would the new stadium be built?

Bagley said the team is narrowing its options and expects to finalize its best stadium package soon.

But without tipping his hand, Bagley says, “there are three Minneapolis sites and one suburban site we’re looking into, but I’d rather not identify or speak for anybody else.”

However, sources with knowledge of the process say three of the four parcels being considered include the Metrodome, a site west of Target Field near the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market, as well as a suburban site in Arden Hills. That’s the long vacant home to the U.S. Army ammunition plant.

Rebuilding at the 20-acre Metrodome site would mean playing at TCF Bank Stadium for up to three NFL seasons, to allow time for demolition and construction of the new stadium.

On the positive side is the fact that infrastructure, including the Hiawatha light rail line is already in place.

Transit, parking, utilities and potential for ancillary development will be keys to any potential stadium site.

The Minneapolis Farmer’s Market site would continue to build on the energy and vitality brought to the city’s west side when Target Field opened. This site, too, is attractive to developers, with the presence of the NorthStar Commuter Rail and the connecting Hiawatha line. Its downside could be a lack of immediate parking and distance from the city-owned parking ramps.

If the Viking’s opt for a suburban location, the team could choose from 580 acres of available land along Interstate 35W and Highways 10, 610 and 96 in Arden Hills. There’s plenty of room for surface parking, hotels and other development.

“We’ve had three or four that we’ve working on, studying on and we think we’re very close to coming forward with an ideal site,” said Bagley.

In any case, the Viking’s proposal likely won’t call for a retractable roof, which pushes the cost over $900 million. State lawmakers will have to add that to the overall project if they indeed want a year-round facility.

The team expects to finalize a site as well as stadium costs and how to fund it within the next 30 to 60 days.            

WCCO-TV’s Bill Hudson Reports

Comments (30)
  1. Mark from MNtaxwaste says:

    Not one dam tax payer penny!

  2. Josh says:

    I second that. No corporate welfare for billionaires and millionaires. Maybe consider it after we have properly funded social programs, but not earlier.

  3. TinHL says:

    Actually, Brookdale is quite vacant and an excellent site choice.

  4. Harry Hansen says:

    Why not build the new stadium where
    Brookdale is? Great spot I think
    But if they don’t have a retractable roof,
    I give up. I’ve tryed to stay with them with
    All this stuff thats going on, But this is it.
    If they don’t do that, they are just stupid
    And I’m a Packer fan!

  5. Peter says:

    Some people or so Ignorant on this issue! (not a dam penny) The stadium which stands to cost every minnesotan 45 dollars a year in taxes, pales in comparison of the money that it generates for the State and its budget. That’s right! Every team that plays here and its players have to pay taxes to MN on their ridiculous salaries. As well as the money the Stadium generates gets Taxed as well. I know this is shocking news but, If we lose the Vikings to another City you might as well call us the next Detroit, And we wont have money for your precious social programs.

    1. Todd says:

      I would like to see some real numbers on this. After ten years there does not appear to be a whole lot of support for this and we are going at it again. Now with the economy stumbling they want to spend a half a billion to build a new building that, by your own explanation, is generating plenty of money with the old building?

    2. Mike Ciresi says:

      If the Vikings generate so much money, then they should be doing that now. We don’t need another stadium for the Vikings. If people absolutely need that stadium to sustain a normal life then fine; let the owners pay for it. We have more serious issues to worry about right now. Most people can barely afford a ticket right now as it is. When you look at it the only people who benefit from this is the downtown area and politicians who own the land. Like I said if it is generating money now, like you say it does, than leave them in the dome. That dome should never have been built the way it was built in the first place. Everybody wanted a domed stadium, well, they got, now live with it. I like sports as much as anybody, but, right now it is very a very low priority.

    3. Coffeebreak8 says:

      3M, Medtronic, Cargill, General Mills, Best Buy are among the many companies that bring in more revenue for the state than the Vikings. What makes the VIkings so special? Maybe we should use tax revenue to build up the other MSP companies, help them build new faciliites to bring in more jobs. As for MSP becoming another Detroit? You’re reaching.

  6. george allen says:

    Just like the wild the vikings will be gone in about a year. Sad but true, love the team but they will be gone.

    I WISH they would just build an open air stadium and make other teams truly fear playing in MN in November, December and January.

    1. Jarlaxle says:

      How are the Wild gonna be gone in a year? What a stupid statement. Hope the Vikes and the MN gov’t work something out. Anyone who comments that they hope the Vikes move or don’t get a stadium aren’t fans or probably don’t like football in general.

  7. unknown says:

    I do not want to pay for this. I did not want the twins field and got stuck paying for that. If it is wanted then make those who want it to pay for it and not the people who do not want it. I live in Downtown Minneapolis as well and am so tired of all the traffic that comes from this. Let someone else deal with it

  8. brentwho says:

    How about western Wisconsin? There’s lots of open space and a schizophrenic fan base.

  9. Chad Smith says:

    I understand well the need to fund the social programs, but how much more difficult will that be with the billions in tax revenue and other monies the Vikings bring into the state on a yearly basis gone to Los Angeles? You are forgetting that they do bring an economic benefit to the state that most folks can’t imagine! And yes, I despise the idea of corporate welfare for spoiled athletes who make a gazillion dollars a year when I struggle to put food on the table. But things will be that much worse if those dollars fly away to sunny California!

  10. Chels says:

    Raze Brookdale Mall and put it there! Save BC from going totally down the toilet.

  11. B says:

    The Twins just got a new stadium the state and the taxpayers cannot afford another stadium there is nothing wrong with the metrodome if anything thats all they need to do is invest money into if they just invest a million dollars in it they can make it pretty nice so why waste 700 million on a new stadium that they dont need why put the much in a stadium that they will only play 8 games in just put money into the dome there is nothing wrong with it

  12. SD says:

    Minnesota has an opportunity to bring in some solid money making opportunities with this years legislature. The stadium and gambling opportunities will attract other businesses. Of course there is a risk of some bad company coming in with the gambling…but I think we can survive. Anything to help keep taxes on every day living down is game to me.

  13. Stu says:

    I would cancel all social programs except unemployment benefits, At least you had to have a job to get those,

    The savings would easily cover the stadium and at least that is something the state pays for that I would use. The Vikings are an asset, the state should pay a share, and the state already pays money for the arts which very few Minnesotans take part in. So the “let those that use it pay for it argument’ is absurd in this day and age. Minneapolis should be begging for the stadium because if people don’t work down there they aren’t going down for anything else. And with the way those people like to spend tax money they need all of the revenues they can get. The most likely funding for the stadium is user-based fees anyways so all of you football haters should research a little more before you spout off on paying for it.

  14. Jayden in Shoreview says:

    WHO GIVES DAMN about the vikings and there STUPID STADIUM concerns, MN needs to address the unemployment benefits for families that are about to run dry and not have home or food on table to feed their children. Here goes more taxes that will not benefit or even do anything to help people in this crisis….

  15. tracer says:

    Move the Vikings to any other state, who cares. No public money to this team when the owner is a millionaire over and over again.

  16. joe says:

    Screw it we dont need new stadium, it will cost tax payers, and zygi will be the only one to profit when he sells the franchise down the road.

  17. chuck says:

    NO TAX MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WILF CAN PAY!!!!!!!!

  18. Sports Fan says:

    This should at least come to a referendum so Minnesotans have some sort of say in whether they think their taxes should be paying for a new stadium. We elected these people for other reasons than to wheel and deal with sports teams. Sports fans should buck up and start paying more for tickets if they want to see their team in a new stadium. Or how about a stadium lottery. Fans could buy tickets at lottery retailers statewide. Proceeds from that game would go toward stadium costs. Somebody needs to start thinking a little more creatively about this rather than depending on the vast majority of Minnesotans who will never see a game.

  19. Buildit Yerself says:

    Running out of options and patience? Really? Hey, Lester, I want a new car, but I’m running out of options and patience. When are the taxpayers going to buy me a new car? If they don’t, I’m gonna move! How bout that, Lester?

  20. Ambyr says:

    Why should we pay for a stadium for them? I love the Vikings, but they’re starting to sound like Moss. Whine Whine Whine. come on guys! Be thankful for what you have! Like millions of dollars. Don’t tax us more when we’re struggling with kids here!

  21. Bruiser says:



    E N O U G H

  22. Gwen says:

    agreed. ^^ though I love watching them (when they decide to show up to actually play football), i feel they don’t deserve it. Seriously, look at this season?!?!?!?!?! wanna actually PLAY some football and THEN whine about wanting a new stadium?! That’d be wonderful. Play as a team, and actually prove that you deserve a new stadium. Then we’ll talk. otherwise, much love to Percy Harvin, but SEEEEE YAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

  23. Carlitos Way says:


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