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Mondale Makes Capitol Debut As Stadium Point Man

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By Holly Wagner, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Ted Mondale says Gov. Mark Dayton hopes state lawmakers won’t wait too long to present a plan for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium to replace the Metrodome.
Mondale made his Capitol debut Wednesday as new chairman of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. He told a state Senate committee that the new governor supports a stadium that would be both a new home to the Vikings and a “people’s stadium” that like the Metrodome could host high school and college sports and other public events.
“A stadium where the benefit to the public is greater than the amount of tax dollars put in,” said Mondale.

Mondale said he was prepared to answer questions about a future Minnesota Vikings stadium. He said he wants lawmakers to understand what a new stadium would mean to the Twin Cities — it’s not all about the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think it’s real important for the legislators to understand what a statewide, civic role that this building plays. There’s over 200 high school teams that have played in here, over 40 colleges have played in here. This building is used, when the roof is up, 20 hours a day, especially in the winter,” said Mondale.

He expects an update next week on the Dome repairs and whether or not the roof can be repaired or needs to be replaced, including the timing of when the Metrodome will be completely open for business.

Mondale says Dayton doesn’t want lawmakers to wait for the last days of the session to debate a stadium bill.

“The Governor wants the bill moved in the next month, two months,” said Mondale.

The likely lead Senate sponsor has indicated she hopes to debut a stadium bill by sometime in February that will include a proposed site, design and funding approach.

Dayton says he supports the state helping build a new stadium and Mondale says he believes it can be accomplished this session.

“If this is something the legislature can’t do, he (Dayton) would appreciate them determining that, and get on to focusing on schools and health care, and other issues,” said Mondale.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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