By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The look of downtown Minneapolis could be completely transformed in 15 years. The Downtown 2025 Plan, put together by the Minneapolis Downtown Council, calls for 10 major changes to make the area a destination to live, work and visit.

They aim to transform Nicollet Mall into the greenest urban street in the country. The plan also calls for “upping” the arts and entertainment along Hennepin and First Avenues, sustaining green infrastructure along the riverfront and incorporating more transportation options.

Another major focal point is a new Minnesota Vikings stadium and completely overhauling the current Metrodome site by turning the area into a lake.

By Minnesota standards, a small lake — more like a pond, with residential development around it.

Business leaders are planning a future downtown that includes the Vikings, even if the future doesn’t look like that now.

The ambitious plan proposes tearing down the Metrodome and moving the Vikings to a “sports entertainment district” near Target Field.

They proposed one of two sites — at the Farmer’s Market or behind the Basilica at Linden Avenue.

“Imagine a renovated Target Center, new public gathering places, a Vikings stadium and a new transportation exchange, all working in concert with Target Field,” said John Griffith with Target Corporation, and who is part of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

The problem is that the Minnesota Vikings don’t want to be in Minneapolis. They’ve got a stadium deal in Arden Hills.

It also conflicts with the mayor of Minneapolis, who told a stadium hearing last week the Metrodome is the city’s preferred site.

“There’s confusion and we don’t have a lot of time. We have no time,” said Lester Bagley, spokesman for the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings say there are too many unanswered questions about the new downtown stadium sites to make them viable sites.

It’s not clear who owns the land, how much it costs, how much clean up is needed and how to get 65,000 fans in and out.

“Those answers have to be gotten now. We’re down to the last couple of weeks of having a solution on a Minneapolis site, if there is one,” said Lester Bagley.

But Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who pitched the Metrodome site to the legislature, says he supports all three stadium sites in Minneapolis.

“I think all three are great. I prefer the Metrodome. I think they think all three are great. They prefer it on the west side of downtown. The city was asked for our choice, we said the Metrodome and I think the fact that it’s $200 million makes it a lot more appealing too,” Rybak said.

But top business leaders who came up with the Downtown 2025 Plan think a Vikings stadium near Target Field is the best location to jump-start development on that side of downtown.

Comments (10)
  1. Scott Funk says:

    I would far rather that there was NO public money coming from the state or the city to pay for the stadium. In fact, I am so opposed to it that I am tracking this story and being certain to vote against whoever actually approves the use of public money to fund a private business. And that’s final. If that means the Vikings leave, fine. They’re rich enough to pay for it themselves; let them.

    1. John says:

      I too will be tracking any and all elected officials who support this boondoggle. If they let themselves get taken in by this scam, they are unfit for office.

  2. Anne says:

    “There’s confusion and we don’t have a lot of time. We have no time,” said Lester Bagley, spokesman for the Minnesota Vikings.

    Then buy the land and build yourself a stadium.
    What’s stopping you?
    Leave us alone.

  3. I'm with you Scotty says:

    Why do the politicians and the Vikings talk like it’s a done deal that Zygi is gonna get in everybody’s pants? The arrogant and ostentatious jerk ought to be tarred, feathered, and run out of the state!

  4. Positive one says:

    The stadium should be in Arden Hills. I’d like to show up and not have to search 2 hours for parking and have space to tailgate. I support the stadium and wish I had the choice to have my tax dollars go straight to the stadium instead of museums and banks.

  5. The tax man cometh says:

    My only concern is that if the vikings go, what will we do with the loss of revenue from all the taxes collected on ticket sales, food sales, parking, beer sales, police OT, transit, wait staff, hotell staff, viking players, vikings management, Visitng tema players, the facility in Eden Prairie, and then of course all the people that work at the dome that will no longer be required they will all go on unemployment not to mention the reduced wages for wait staff in and around the metro dome. That is just a start on a list of the revenue we get now, but will no longer get if the vikings leave. What will we do without all that tax money coming in?

  6. TL the alligator says:

    the “lost” revenue will just mean there is less money to waste by the Mayor, the city council, the police lawsuit payouts, and fewer stupid projects like $60,000 water fountains and the like…..the more projects they have the more it costs the taxpayers when these “projects” are supposed to be beneficial, all any of this madness has done has raised taxes……its time we LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS…..and we do NOT need the vikings or to waste millions of taxpayer money on something most people dont want….let them build it themselves or leave.

    1. Minnesota is not so nice says:

      TI, They already are spending money we do not have. Do you really think these “people” in office will spend any less just because a major source of revenue is gone? If we can trust History, not one administration ever spent less than the prior administration. So that only means we as the middle class will owe more for drinking fountains in Minneapolis, even though I never go there, but am unfortunate enough to live in Hennepin County. So many do not want to pay for a stadium, well I do not want to pay for drinking fountains, or half of the social programs, or “progressive” policies, yet I am expected to pay for those, but not for a stadium that I could care less abuot? Why is it I have to pay for everyone ele’s idea’s and dream of a 2025 Minneapolis, but others do not have to pay for a 2014 Arden Hills?

  7. RIII says:

    Sounds like fascism to me?

  8. keel says:

    Ahh for the days of SS Kresge, Daytons, Donaldsons, Warner Hardware, JC Penney, Peters Grill, The Forum, The State Theater, The Orpheum, The Pan, Bridgemans, The Great Northern Market, no muggers. We kids could take a bus “downtown” and, with a couple bucks in our pockets, spend the entire day shopping and having fun.

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