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Dayton Backs Plan For ‘People’s Stadium’

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ST. PAUL (WCCO/AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is pushing for what he’s calling “a people’s stadium” for the Minnesota Vikings.

Dayton met with members of the construction industry Tuesday and was met with loud cheers for his backing of a new football stadium, provided it meets certain conditions.

“Governor said that it would be a great thing for the people of this state. It would be a people’s stadium,” said Glen Johnson, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Reports

Dayton is pushing hard for a $1 billion bonding bill for construction projects around the state, but said the legislature ought to approve a Vikings stadium because it could create 3,000 jobs for unemployed workers.

He told reporters that a stadium financing plan is “a separate consideration” from debate over a state budget deficit, and the two discussions could occur simultaneously.

He says a stadium could help an ailing construction sector. To pay for it, Dayton says he would consider surcharges on stadium ticket, merchandise and concessions surcharges. He also raised the idea of hotel and car rental charges. He said no state general funds will be used.

“I want a people’s stadium that’s a good deal for the people of Minnesota — a project that’s going to employ Minnesotans. Let’s put people back to work all over the state of Minnesota and let’s do it now,” Dayton said.

Lawmakers say the stadium bill would direct the Vikings to pay at least 30 percent of construction, plus any cost overruns. Officials aren’t naming a site but say a bill would include a site selection committee.

Dayton also commented on the “Right To Work” bill, referring to it as the “Right To Work For Nothing” bill. Some lawmakers are calling for a constitutional amendment for a “Right to Work” proposal, which would place the matter in the hands of voters.

“He said that ‘Right To Work’ for less is not something he would support and the place went into an uproar of clapping and cheering,” said Johnson.

A Republican lawmaker who plans to sponsor Minnesota Vikings stadium legislation says most pieces of the bill are in place.

But Sen. Julie Rosen said Tuesday she hadn’t settled on a day to introduce the bill nor would she discuss aspects of it ahead of time.

(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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