Time Running Thin For Vikings Stadium To Get Done

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton plans to meet as early as Monday with top lawmakers and Vikings team officials to try to jumpstart  the Vikings stadium talks.

For the Vikings, there is a renewed sense of urgency to figure out what, if anything, it will take to get a Vikings stadium vote at the legislature

“Let’s get this done,” said team owner Zygi Wilf at a rare news conference Wednesday at which he emphatically endorsed a $1.1 billion plan to build a stadium in suburban Arden Hills.

Even though the Vikings are only five games into their football season, the team is focused on Game 16: That’s when its 30-year Metrodome lease expires. There are no plans to sign another one, and the team wants the legislature to approve a stadium deal soon.

“We believe this issue needs to be in focus, and resolved, and in process by the time the lease expires,” said team Vice President Lester Bagley.

Although Minnesota lawmakers may love the Vikings, they don’t love the idea of a stadium vote.

“I don’t see it as something you want on your re-election brochure,” said Republican Senator Dave Thompson of Lakeville.

He’s the assistant GOP majority leader, and he’s expecting another big budget deficit.

Thompson said lawmakers he’s talked to deep reservations about spending public money in a recession for a wealthy sports team.

“How do we as a legislature come in when we said we would not raise taxes before, and don’t want to raise taxes and then fund a business that has a disproportionately large percentage of highly compensated individuals in it?” Thompson said.

Thompson and other legislators watched closely a vote Tuesday night by the Ramsey County Charter Commission, which rejected a county-wide referendum raising the sales tax to pay for a stadium

In a written statement, GOP Senate Majority leader Amy Koch said, “My personal preference remains for there to be a referendum. However, the decision by locals will be a factor in discussions going forward. Regarding the recently released report about the Arden Hills site, it shows there is a potential $150 million more in expenditures that have yet to be identified. To date, I have not seen a finalized Viking Stadium proposal nor has Governor Dayton provided any specific details on how a stadium would be funded. The Vikings are a state asset and I look forward to continued dialogue with fellow legislators, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Vikings.”

Meanwhile profootball talk.com is reporting that the Vikings say they have been contacted by more than one community about moving the team.

Bagley would not identify the communities, but told the website he believes that the efforts will become public if and when the Metrodome lease expires.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Well Then, Just Go

    “the Vikings say they have been contacted by more than one community about moving “

    • em1022

      All those shirtless,face painted,binge drinking,mullet haired Vikings fans are gonna go crazy when the team leaves town..That’ll be fun to watch!

      • PLATOON

        Those people you just ridiculed are probaly the same people who tormented you on a daily basis in high school. I’m a diehard Vikings fan and I don’t look or act like that.Nobody likes stereotypes……geek.

  • kevin

    no stadium for zippy.

  • MItch

    You have to spend money to make money. By building a new stadium you are providing jobs to those who are currenlty unemployed. You are also bringing in people from other states to spend the weekend here in the minneapolis area, guess what, they are spending money and boosting the local economy. It s not just the Vikings that will be making all the money. You have to think about all the hotels, restaurants and bars that will be built in the area as well.

    • Common Sense

      Yeah all those PT minimum wage popcorn selling jobs for 8 days per year.

    • Jessy V.

      False Mitch False. The jobs are temporary, low wage, no benefit jobs. The beneficiary are the wealthy NFL owners and players, not the tax payer. You can’t even make the argument that shareholders can benefit, because the NFL is all about 30 billionaires and 1000 millionaires making money hand over fist. The jobs you speak of are temporary, low wage, no benefit jobs are not worth the 800M the MN tax payers will spend. Out of state contractors will win most of the contracts and will bring in low paid temp workers. Don’t be fooled by stuffed-suits with bad, really bad, mustaches.

      • Wake Up!

        How about construction jobs for the next several years building the stadium you morons. Remember there are 10 Vikings Games per year at the stadium. I hate how all the burden is placed on the Vikings when SO many other events will be held here. I’m not a Packer fan but the experience you have when going to a game is unlike anything we have in MN.

  • StraycatStrut

    The knock on the door was enough to wake up the sleeping Dayton from his June 20th slumber after he did not get his way. Markie…. save the Vikings!!!!!

  • Kevin

    See you in California with the illegals…..

  • King

    Yes, lets get it done *

  • Dean

    We in Hennepin County are paying a sales tax to pay for the Twins Stadium and we didn’t get to vote.. O.K. Ramsey County, it is time for you to step up to the plate, or should I say the goal posts.

  • 99 Percenter

    write your own check 1% percenter….

  • Ed Wilts

    The Vikings are *NOT* a state asset. They’re a private business run by an out-of-state businessman.

  • Whitieford

    With property taxes going up, incomes going down this is not a time to look for tax payers funding! The folks around the State have supported the Vikings in good and bad now it is time for them to make the same concessions.

  • Kathleen

    “the team is focus on game 16” their last game played in the dome, maybe it should be their last game played in Minnesota- Instead of thinking that far ahead they should be thinking of how to prove to the people of Minnesota they are worthy of a new stadium. Right now they are showing Minnesota they can’t wait to get out of here by playing the type of games they have been playing- big deal they won one game so far this year, does not impress me nor should it impress the rest of the people of Minnesota- They want to leave then go and don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

  • Leave already

    “Let’s get ‘er done!” says the rich man trying to get into the pocketbooks of the poor working class.

    Get out of town Zygi, we don’t want you here!

  • George Niskanen

    i believe that if the team was owned by a local businessman such as the Pohlads. mr. schulze of best buy or the like the Stadium would be already built. Those businesses employ allot of people and would make it politically correct in my opinion.




      What are you doing out of school little man? You better get back to your third period english class and work on your grammer and spelling.If you don’t, I’ll tell your parents! SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!

  • Bleed Purple

    I am 100% for a new stadium, AND am a middle class working woman. My thought to help pay for it? Have ND and SD chip in some. They are Vikings fans as well, in fact go to any home game and they are advertising all over the place. I’m not saying have them build it, but if they use it and support it, can’t they help cover some of the costs as well??

    • Blaine

      Im from ND, and i personally wouldnt have a problem paying a half cent sales tax or whatever… you have to extra states paying that half cent, they would have plenty of funding in no time, i know people that arent Vikings fans would be outraged… but i would be heartbroken if the team left MN, but if they did.. maybe they would get some good owners that would spend money on bringing in talent and not washed up players from other teams

  • WhatBS

    The Los Angeles threat is just that, a threat to put pressure on the law makers. In Southern California, there are so many other things to do, people don’t fill the football stadiums. I was there once and there was a Monday Night football game in San Diego vs the Bears and we walked up to the gate and bought tickets without any problem.
    Los Angeles can’t fill a stadium either, why do you think the Rams left and the Raiders only stayed a couple of years?
    You could have the biggest, best and newest stadium and if no one goes to it, it becomes nothing but a money pit.

  • JOHN

    Please,please have the guts to show your real feelings Minn legeslators and the rest Vote No so that on your relection date the ballot will say YOURE FIRED and we are rid of you but never put up another vote on what you want under cover and get out this is a second rate state and town and see how many more business will leave all you do is cost this statae money by your miss management.

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