ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton told business leaders at an Eden Prairie luncheon Wednesday there is no other stadium site in the works if the Ramsey County proposal fails.
“If they are saying there is only one site they are willing to consider and one site they are willing to make that very sizable contribution of their funds, then, realistically, there is not a plan B,” said Dayton.
Already one game into their final season in the Metrodome, the Vikings team said it will not renew its lease there without a new stadium. At this point, it’s Arden Hills or nothing, according to Vikings officials.
“This question about whether it is a fair assessment or not or if it’s trying to find a red flag. No, we think it’s an honest effort to get some answers and have a third party assessment that this is a viable site and project, and let’s move it forward,” said Lester Bagley, the Vikings’ Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development.
Dayton said the Vikings are already committing $420 million dollars to the $1.1 billion project, and he expects that to approach $500 million before it’s over.
It’s a number Vikings officials did not rule out.
“The state’s in for $300 million firm, we’ve heard that from the governor. Ramsey Country has been solid at $350 (million). What’s left? Everything else. Who covers everything else? We do,” said Bagley.
A stadium site study is taking a hard look at the environmental cleanup cost at the old Army munitions plant near the stadium site and how much work it will be to rebuild the roads for Vikings traffic. The study is due to be released Oct. 15.
Even if the study is finished on time, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a special session. The study could reveal problems that are not known at this time, including much higher costs for cleanup.
So, right now, it’s impossible to know how a stadium bill will do i, because there isn’t one and there won’t be until after the study.