New Cost, Timing Concerns For New Vikings Stadium

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A new report on a possible Vikings stadium in Arden Hills is raising significant questions about the cost, about the cleanup and about how long it will take to build it.

Gov. Mark Dayton ordered the 181-page risk analysis from the Metropolitan Council. According to the report, clean up of the Arden Hills site will be more expensive and land acquisition more time consuming, pushing the total stadium cost above the expected $1.1 billion dollars.

The report says higher cleanup costs and land acquisition will push a stadium far past the Vikings preferred 2015 opening.

“We think that is unrealistic. 2016 or 2017 is more realistic,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh. “The cost of delay in the schedule — this is just the inflationary cost of delay — we are projecting about $46 million per year.”

Vikings officials said the report does not present new obstacles that cannot be overcome, including pushing back opening day to 2016.

“It’s important to get it done by 2015,” said Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. “If it so happens that time takes us to 2016, we’ll deal with that situation. But I do not believe that the extra time we have as a severe an impact as the report shows.”

Dayton had hoped to call a special stadium session soon, which is unlikely, but the Dayton’s stadium point man said the report brings new clarity to the debate.

“The biggest cloud on this project was the uncertainty,” said Ted Mondale, with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. “Many, many, many of those clouds have been removed by this report.”

The report also questions whether the Vikings or Ramsey County will pay for cost overruns, which could conceivably be $200 million or more. The report added that Ramsey County may not have the tax capacity to pay for the stadium, a charge the county adamantly denies.

Mondale insisted the bleak report is not a back-door effort to slow down Arden Hills and keep the Vikings in Minneapolis.

However, in a written statement, Dayton said he is “willing to support a stadium in either Arden Hills or Minneapolis”– a notion the Vikings owner *himself* emphatically rejected.

“There is no Minneapolis site. We’re working on Arden Hills,” said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley. “We’re excited about the site — what it can do for our fan experience. We’ve studied many sites over the years, and this is ideal at the right time and with the right partners. We’re very excited about Arden Hills.”

More from Pat Kessler
  • NO STADIUM!!!!!! GO TO L.A.

    NO NEW TAXES !!!!!!

    • travis

      you go to LA. Build it using targeted tax increases on those who don’t mind paying for it. sports memorabilia, downtown drinking, whatever works. I agree… no new taxes on groceries and essentials.

  • Another NO STADIUM

    Agreed. Kick the greedy Zygi out of the state.

    • wallace

      the man is basicalliy chipping in half on a building he will never own, but lease. I think its almost fair.

  • Bob

    Absolutely unconscionable to impose this tax for an “entertainment” facility without allowing the public to vote. Ramsey county commissioners who voted for this turkey should be removed from office at the earliest possible time!! Wonder how much $$$ that the Vikings slipped under the table to these guys?

  • Jreyonalds

    Vikings aren’t worthy for a new stadium, let alone using tax dollars when Zygi wilf can afford on his own.

  • The Rich get Richer!!!

    Just curious….WHEN did it become the norm to be able to take peoples money without them having a say in it?? I was under the impression that was called “stealing.”
    If they truly believe that the people want a stadium, just WHAT are they afraid of by letting the people who’s money your taking vote on it??

  • George

    I am sorry, do any of you go to the new Twins Stadium? If so those in Hennepin County helped pay for that. You better not be using that facility then for your enjoyment.

    • June

      Not all of us consider sporting events “enjoyment”. We should not have to pay for a stadium for your enjoyment.

    • Mary

      I also do not attend games. I do not want the stadium in Arden Hills. We don’t need more traffic taking a short cut by our house on game days. I do not want to pay for any stadium for any type of sport.

    • 12 men in the huddle

      And the people of Hennepin County had no say in it. It was decided for them. Seems a bit ironic that each time the people want to put it to a vote, the same excuse surfaces that a ballot referendum is deemed infeasible due to the time-critical nature of the bill. Imagine that.
      So, why don’t we let other companies (General Mills, Target, Best Buy, Medtronic, etc.) use public money (NOT in the form of stocks or bonds), to fund their projects?? After all, do they not benefit the people of Minnesota?? And I’m not talking about non-profit businesses.

      • como651

        If you left every decision to a public vote then rarely would anything get built and eventually your city will be stuck in the past and become a very unattractive place to live. It will be a city of miserable people who no longer know the meaning of progress. In a sense public companies do use public money when they are given tax incentives to build new headquarters and factories in a city. Everyone has to pay taxes for something they may not use. What if you don’t go to the library, drive on public roads, go to the public beach, enjoy the public fireworks, fish on the public lakes etc.? If you left everything to vote there would be no public anything anymore since no one wants to pay for someone else’s entertainment. You pay for this stadium and the Vikings fans will pay for something you want later with their taxes. It evens out.

        • Guy

          Ok; I want a state of the art home theatre & gaming system … suround sound … chair shakers … wet bar … Should only cost 20-25K – a real steal compared to the stadium.

          I’ll take cash or cashiers check … Start digging out YOUR pennies to pay for it

    • jan

      I for one, have never gone to any stadium nor have I watched any games.

  • Just leave already....

    A long history of mediocrity, epic failures, awful business dealings (Herschel Walker trade) and the fact that they have never brought home a Super Bowl championship and they want the public to spend their hard earned money, during extremely tough economic times none the less, to put a sub par product in a brand new home??? WHY???





  • Duh!

    Hey, here’s a novel idea. How about you win a few games, and EARN a new stadium? Win a couple Super Bowls, bring some money into the city, and then I would consider wanting a new stadium.

  • travis

    winning a few games couldn’t hurt their cause.

  • D Jones

    Are you kidding me 7,500+ jobs is more than enough reason too build this!!! Y. our city will make money ten fold. The roads should have been redone years ago .. This is a great time to get this done ,our President wants infrastructure WORK being done.. Funny thing isn’t creating jobs what our country needs . This is an asset to the state and the community. 51 tears is a lot to throw away

    • como651

      People don’t see the long term benefits. Their property values will rise due to the stadium and surrounding new development. They will collect more taxes for their county and city which can be used to make other improvements to their community or to off set their own taxes. We will get to host a super bowl if this gets built and that will bring in lots of outside money. Most importantly, this will assure the Vikings will remain in the state for another 20 years. The Vikings are a tradition and a symbol of state unity. When New Orleans was devastated by Katrina people rallied around their Saints and when the Saint’s started winning it gave them hope and happiness in their lives. Why are we turning out backs on our team in their time of need? They have given us 4 super bowl appearances already. We need to stand by them and the owner in solidarity. We should not allow ourselves to be self defeated especially in front of our worst enemies the Green Bay Packers who are watching and hoping we lose our Vikings. Long live the VIKINGS!

      • Wearejustasstupidastheyare

        Dear Como651

        Appearances don’t add up to wins, they are not worthy of a new stadium and I think if they want one they make more money than you or all these people put together in our life time so let them pay for it. Why should we support a losing team and players who give MN a bad name with their antics. Grant it not all the players are conceded and arrogant. I am 100% against building these losers a stadium and for the record I don’t live in Ramsey County but it will trickle down one day that all of MN will pay for this stadium. GOODBYE VIKINGS DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT.

  • Cindy

    DJones, 7,500+ jobs – from where? Are they firing all of the dome employees? Will they actually use a MN based construction company OR the lowest bidder like the river bridge when it fell? Where the H is all the money they already bring into our State? Do you have any idea what our streets look like in the winter because of lack of funds? Seriously, 7,500+ more jobs. I think not. This is an asset only for the owners who want to reap benefits from creating an allure of having money and attracting big wigs to sit in their suites. Not the common man just trying to get by and pay his mortage or put food on the table while watching schools close, teachers pulling from their own pockets on a minimal salary to educate our children. Go away.

    • Vikings biggest Fan

      I bet if they wanted to build new schools and increase teachers pay you’d be all for it wouldn’t you even though statistically this would not increase children’s test scores one bit. What is a bigger waste of money? If people don’t stop being selfish then the next time they want something the rest of the people will say go pay for it yourself. That way no one ever gets anything. Maybe someday all the soccer moms will want a new soccer stadium built or all the book worms will want a new library. Should all us football fans tell you to go pay for it yourself? Of course not because we are not that shallow. We understand the pride and joy that people derive from their passions in life and we support it. When have football fans ever voted down increasing school funding or money for a new park or library? Never! Now we need your support and you are turning your backs on us and the team. You should be ashamed.

      • Guy

        Yes you should – I’ll pay for my “toys” & you pay for yours.

        I am totally willing to go that route.

  • Makes me mad!

    It’s obvious that the majority of people DON’T want this new stadium, so why should they be able to build it? Isn’t that why we live here in America, so we can have a say in things? I think it’s completely disgusting that they are making people pay for a stadium that they have no desire to have. This should be illegal!

  • You Know What?

    Put this stink’n thing TO A VOTE.

  • A Voter

    I second that motion.

  • oNiSaC

    Build it they will come….

    • Guy

      Don’t build it … AND THEY WILL STILL COME (to the DOME)

  • Wearejustasstupidastheyare

    I wonder how many of these people who are for the stadium actually live in Ramsey County? Because if they did they would be complaining instead of for it. It is not their County taxes going up so what do you people care.

  • gdog

    I don’t know why people are so confused about voiting for this type of a tax. This type of a tax is supposed to be voted on by law. So, please stop with the argument if everything had to be voted on….. They choose to bypass the law to force this down peope’s throats whether they want it or not.

  • Drew

    If only Ramsey county residents were going to have to pay the sales tax, then only Ramsey county residents should vote. But as non-Ramsey county residents shopping in Ramsey county would also have to pay the increased sales tax, then the vote should be state-wide. Thankfully, it is a moot point now anyway.

    Personally I’d rather my tax dollars go to something I will be able to enjoy, than to social programs where we get nothing to show for it. Thanks!

  • What does YOUR conscience tell you?

    There is so much dirty dealing and corruption going on behind the scenes here that it makes the city of Chicago’s political machine look like a convent in comparison.

    Clearly this is one of the most explosive and expensive issues ever to be debated in Minnesota. For that reason alone it would be unconscionable for any elected or appointed group of individuals to make this decision on behalf of the people of Minnesota. Too many of these individuals are acting in their own personal best interests and are not representing the will of the people.

    If $350+ million is expected to be paid by Ramsey county residents, they should have the opportunity to vote on it; if $300+ million is to be paid via any form of tax that will or may be paid by the general population, then they should have the same opportunity to vote on it.

    To allow this decision to be made in any way other than a public vote is to condone dishonesty and corruption as an acceptable way of life in Minnesota.

  • Really

    I don’t see you idiots complaining about all the moozlum xplants that suck our system dry but a new football stadium well no way you say, what a bunch of dopes, just build it.

  • lowest mortage | Simple Advance

    […] the Billings business community at Thursday’s Energy Hub Symposium at the Crown Plaza Hotel.New Cost, Timing Concerns For New Vikings StadiumA new report on a possible Vikings stadium in Arden Hills is raising significant questions about the […]

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