Mondale Makes Capitol Debut As Stadium Point Man

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

  • Common Laborer


    • Shan

      Quite crying, it is going to happen.

      • Dave L

        too bad so sad. BUILD IT ALREADY!!

      • Paul

        You want it. You pay for it. I don’t think the people in Minnesota should subsidize a billionaire who wants a new stadium and more money. Fix the dome and let them play there. Or better yet move the team to California.

  • Patrick

    Why is even up for debate? We already have a huge deficit and nobody wants to make the cuts or raise taxes. Not one cent of state money should go for a new stadium these spoiled ball players will use for 8 games a season. the Vikes should have gotten a deal done to share with the U of M and shared a space just like they did with the dome. The team can pack up and leave for all I care. I’m sure Republicans, Tea partiers and progressives like me can all agree on this at least.

    • Think of the big picture

      If we loose the team it will hurt our economy even more. Bars, restaurants, businesses all around Minneapolis and St. Paul would lose money if we lost another team! Yeah it stinks that tax payers will have to help with the new stadium, but hopefully it will bring in more people to Minnesota! More people here, more people spending money, better for our state!



  • Reasonable Joe

    I will gladly let some of my taxes go to a new Vikings stadium. The Vikings are huge asset to this state and our state would end up even worse if we let them get away.

  • Bye Bye Vikings

    If we were to just let the vikings fans pay the additional taxes for a new stadium they would come up so short. The vikings do not have a dedicated fan base that stands behind them no matter what the only time they have a big fan base is when they win, then when they lose they are the 1st to say they dont have a clue come on MN wake up. Let Ziggy find some partners and build the stadium themselves if they want it otherwise stop wining and move the team or suck it up

    • Hello Profit

      As a Vikings fan, I would love to be a part of a select group which helps pay for a new stadium. Then, when we tax the Vikings team (which is a part of the $9 BILLION dollar revenue NFL), we would be the only ones who receive the profits. Sure, it would cost me up from but I stand to make a lot of money in this long-term investment.

    • You make me laugh!

      LOL what are you talking about?? Vikings have a huge fan base in this state.

  • Anti-all-caps

    Quick question to you ALL CAPS people: The Vikings lease for the Metrodome has been waived for the past 9 years ($4 million per year) by the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. Why have suddenly been angered by a new stadium, yet you haven’t been mad that they are playing rent-free? I think this is more an issue of ignorance than one of principle.

    Try informing yourself before you make snap-decisions:

    In summary, new stadiums increase team value and profit which means MN will get more in tax money from them. Sure it will cost a substantial amount of money right now to build the stadium, but even a non-Viking fan should see that this investment will yield millions of dollars in tax revenue over the next 30+ years. This is not a short-term investment.

    So, if we don’t act now MN will lose an opportunity to tax the $9 billion dollar a-year profiting (and growing) NFL.

    Why is this even up for debate? What part don’t you understand?

  • Open Your Eyes

    Hello Profit and Anit-all-caps: If having a stadium is so almighty profitable and valuable, please explain why Wilf and company don’t want to own it. Stop regurgitating what the proponents feed you and think for yourselves. Wilf wants to own the team, which makes money; he does not want to own the stadium, which is only an expense – an expense he’d love to stick to the taxpayers of MN.

    • Dave L

      quit opening your corn hole. ITS CALLED BUSINESS!!! Wilf knows he can get a state funded stadium somewhere. a NFL team is a asset, and somebody WILL pay for it. If its not MN, then its CA. Wilf holds the cards, too bad so sad, You can be a stubborn a$$ and say to CA, but then you will say goodbye to millions of tax revenue. This isnt hard people, wake up.

  • Justin

    Yeah, why doesn’t somebody explain why the team owners don’t want to own a profitable stadium themselves? I suspect it’s not because they want to give more of the team’s profits to the state of Minnesota.


    Very few NFL team stadiums are privately owned (3 or 4 of 32), rather they are owned by government authorities. There is a reason for that: look at the amount of resources needed to operate a year-round facility which has NFL games, High School sports, monster truck rallies, motocross, and even NCAA basketball tournaments. For example, look at Gillette Stadium: owner Robert Kraft started a whole new division of his company (Kraft Sports Group) just to run the team and the stadium. Stadiums are not cash-cows; they don’t bring in an extraordinary amounts of money for a private business. However, they do make a profit which is what the state needs. The profits also extend to the local economy, including bars, restaurants, jerseys and other memorabilia, TV broadcasts etc., places where MN can get tax revenue.

    Again, any anti-Vikes have an issue with them playing rent-free for the last 9 years…?

  • Dave L

    People only hear one thing…. TAX FUNDED STADIUM. yet they refuse to see the BIG PICTURE. Im sorry, but anybody that doesnt support a new stadium, has not seen the numbers. Guess what happens if they move??? they raise your taxes to make up for the lost tax revenue the team brings in. Its a NO-Brainer, build it and make them pay the rent. Also tax the hell out of tickets, drinks, NFL apparel, etc. Get back more than you put in.

    • Randy

      Sorry Dave, Its a no brainer. No public funding of a new statium. And yes, they can move to CA

      • Moss

        Sorry Randy, you do have to read the above post BEFORE you post a reply. Having an NFL team be a part of our metro area is a privilege and a great way for the government to receive taxable income. If they leave we will need to find ways to either make up for that lost revenue or decease government spending. It’s a small chunk but noteworthy.

        It’s poor timing for a new stadium but it needs to get done. Would we be arguing about this if we had a budget surplus?

    • Mark Tumball

      My buddies told me without kids they don’t give a dame about funding schools
      They want tax money to go for the Vikings…
      I asked what they’re going to do when the kids who have nothing to do break into their homes.
      After all what are kids going to do with all that time (no schools to go to!!)
      We should all be embarrassed to be talking about spending $$ on a football team… We need to pay for education.
      By the way I’m 24 and single with no kids!!!

  • Mark K

    So the Viking want a new stadium, let figure out a viable plan with all parties involved, that being the Vikings, and the taxpayers. Let’s sell the dome to the U of M for there new baseball stadium…there’s no way in hell should the gophers even think about building a stadium…the dome is the perfect answer,plus if they owned it the U of M would be getting revenue year round from other events. I think the Wiff’s need to pony up more, there pockets are so big they really could just build it on there own. The tax payers of Minnesota have there hands full right now with such a huge deficit.

  • sterling7

    This is a smart man. Whether anybody likes it or not the Vikings will get a new stadium and Mondale will be known for leading the way-you think people won’t remember this? Mondale will clean up. And while we’re at it the nerve of the gophers (high school all the way, most embarrassing) and the Twins to get stadiums before the Vikings, again like it or not this is a football town-a Minnesota Vikings football town!

  • RHC

    While they talk about all of the other users it is evident that for much less money, these groups could be accommodated. That price would be the cost of a new roof.

  • Runaway43

    We do have a huge deficit issue right now, but i must agree that the vikings are an asset to this state. Look at what Target field has done to minneapolis. We as a state pay for all types of entertainment. The Gutherie, Orthphium, Science museum, the MN state Zoo and many others. I myself as a taxpayer may not use all these venues, but my taxes go to support these various forms of entertainment. I myself am gald that these are available for the people of MN to enjoy. The Vikes, Twins, Wolves, and Wild are also valuable assets to MN tax base and entertainment. There is more to lose here than just the vikings. There are many businesses and tax revenues to be lost with the loss of this team. We all want to have options that provide entertainment and as a society and a state there are costs to attract and retain these businesses. one last point to consider. Pro athletes and professional teams contribute millions of dollars in donations to the charities located in our communities, we lose thee individuals the charities that they donate to lose to. Who do you think is going to be asked to help these organizations out when those millions stop coming in? I’m sure out community will not be able to compensate in these tough times. So our local Goverments will need to step up which will be your tax dollars again. HMMMM!!!!!

  • H3ll No

    The issue of Canadian federal subsidies for sports facilities just won’t die, no matter how many times PM Stephen Harper tries to stick a stake in it. Harper is PM of a Socialist country. Even he says no to earmarks for private enterprize.

    Wheres Bachmann, wheres her opinoin os this issue? Ehh? A billion for a billinaire owner, millionaire players, tv-networks an their play by play broadcasters. Yet 200 million for healtcare is so wrong? Schools are closing? Modale says is not an election year. Believe me voters will not forget.

  • Al

    Enough about building a new stadium. It’s getting old. Why don’t they just do the same thing they are doing in Vancouver Canada to BC Place. Change the roof. It’s the same type of stadium and about the same age. Check out,

  • Bob

    Racino baby , Indians are making a killing , and laughing at us!!!! Racino!!!

  • jim

    Wisc. payed for thier stadium by selling stock certificates to private people .. for that bond they get to hang it on thier walls and never recieve any monetary compensation. It worked incredibly well for them, alot of people would buy in, its already proven through wisc.. Ziggy would get his stadium, no new taxes and everybody would be happy, right?
    The only thing I cant figure out is why that isnt a major discussion in this state. My suspicion is that might cut out some people in the middle who would profit from the taxpayer based money.


    Heres a thought. Why not have all of the T.V networks that broadcast the games come up with part of the money for this new stadium?

  • Big Dog

    He stated that the building is used a lot when the roof is up especially in the winter. If they build a stadium with out a roof as they have been screaming for, that remark was really stupid. How often does a high school team play there outside of the state tournament. The gophers are gone so the college team statement is now out the window. If your going to sell this to the public, get the facts straight. They would be better off having Bud Grant fighting for their cause.

  • Jack

    What a bunch of crap the tax cry babies are yelping about and do not have the facts. The Metrodome (which has more than paid for itself in revenue) like the new stadium will pay for itself easy in it’s lifetime just as the last one did. In case the near sighted can not figure this out the dome is used almost all year long for more than just the Vikings. Get a little vision people it is good for Minnesota as well as the Vikings which are obviously under appreciated in this state. The point is we need it for more than just the Vikings just build the dam thing and build it right this time.


      COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU! People just think of today and tomorrow. Not what could happen in 3+years. A new stadium would be amazing for our state!

  • MC < long term it is a money maker b/c local housing values, businesses and surrounding towns will benefit directly while the state and counties also will lessening the burden on us now due to the waste of space currently known as TCAAP…

  • C.LeRoy

    It is interesting when you talk to people or read the media reports that say the best way to help education is to freeze teacher’s salaries, increase class sizes, spend less on education, stop funding pre-school, etc.-give it a rest and let’s compete with the rest of the world. Mn. still has the best education system in the U. S.; but it is beginning to break (not bend). Build the stadium, put people to work and pay for it in a similar way the Twins ballpark was paid for-broaden your horizons!

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