Mpls, Ramsey Co. Scramble To Finish Stadium Plans

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ramsey County and the City of Minneapolis are scrambling to put finishing touches on final plans for a potential Vikings stadium.

Governor Mark Dayton set next Thursday as the deadline for both to be ready to submit their packages. At this point, neither proposal is completely ready, and there’s just a couple days left to get the work done.

The best thing Arden Hills has going for it: It’s where the Minnesota Vikings want to be. Unlike Minneapolis, the suburban Ramsey County stadium site has been picked over more carefully than a quarterback’s game day stats.

“I think everybody but the janitor has looked at our side,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett.

Ramsey County is putting the finishing touches on a stadium plan that includes a new county-wide three percent food and beverage tax to raise $350 million for a stadium.

County officials are also pushing for expanded gambling, quietly hoping it would generate enough money to reduce the county share.

“I won’t say the state should step in totally but they’ve got a couple proposals out there that I think they should at least consider,” Bennett said.

The best thing Minneapolis has going for it: It’s Minneapolis. There’s plenty of transit, restaurants and renovating the Metrodome would cost a lot less money.

The Minneapolis site may be less expensive, but it’s also much smaller. And the Minnesota Vikings have said they want space.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said he’ll propose re-using the existing infrastructure of the Metrodome and adding on to it.

“A portion of the seating area, having the hole dug and having the infrastructure all in place, you can save $100 million, maybe $200 million from other locations and yeah, that’s a very big deal,” Rybak said.

Minneapolis is still tweaking its plan, diverting an existing city hospitality tax to a stadium. The down side: A city council that’s hostile to the idea.

“We won’t have a cakewalk on the city council, but it’s our sense after talking to folks and looking at the different ideas that we can get a positive vote out of there,” Rybak said.

The Minnesota Vikings played their last game at the Metrodome last week, and their 30-year lease expired. The team said it is the only NFL franchise without a lease.

More from Pat Kessler
  • zee the reporter

    #1 sight to build on #2 how to pay for it, vikings had all this time to get this done! i dont see no push to get the deal done! zee having to report!

  • Mark

    Here are the only reasonable plans:

    -Play in the Dome
    -Play at TCF stadium
    -Pay for their own stadium

    Contact your representative and tell them what you want them to do.
    Email, phone, fax….it’s all good.

    Here’s how to contact your representative:

    • Jason

      @ Mark thanks for the link. I have emailed my representative regarding this. I look at it this way, if I have the time to comment here I have time to leave them an email as well.

  • The Crux of the Buscuit

    Arden Hills is the better place to build it.

    • Julie

      Nobody cares about that dummy.

      What matters is who are they going to rip off.

      This abomination must be stopped.

      BTW: The Pohlads are taking $900 from each taxpayer in Hennepin County.

  • Barb

    Why are the people paying for a private business? The politicans should butt out. I do not want state of county money designated to a stadium when the majority of people can not even afford to go to their games.
    We’ve already paid taxes for the Dome. Let them sell it and reinvest.
    Gambling is OK for funds because why should the reservations have exclusive rights to these profits., We could loan the Vikings the peoples money, but only if we the people get a royalty on all events at the stadium to repay the loan of our funds.

  • Paul Bunyan

    State leaders work together to get this stadium built. Put people back to work, even if it’s temporary it’s employment now.

    • John Adams

      Jobs? No that is not true. It will COST jobs in the long run.

      There are no economic benefits to taxpayer subsidized stadiums. Anyone who tells you different is lying. When scam artists are trying to take your money, often they will lie.


      • Northern One

        Shuddup Adams, you troll. I’m with Paul. Let;s get this finally done. I think Arden Hills is the best site. A lot of room for tailgating and parking. I hate having to find space in Minneapoliis for parking or pay 30 bucks for spaces near the dome.

        • ralph

          You can’t argue fact so you call name. Interesting. Did you punch out all your classmates in the second grade because they were smarter than you?

        • Gee, let's have another beer

          So for you beer is the #1 reason for building a one billion dollar stadium. Brilliant there, Einstein.

        • Frankie

          At Arden Hills do you expect free parking? You are going to pay big for parking because the Wilfs want to earn another 40 million a year. You are going to pay that 30 bucks for parking plus anther 30 a seat.

        • what?!?

          Northern one – Are you for real – John adams post links to findings from economists and you post – um nothing.. Room for tailgating and parking – you think parking will be free….hahahhahahah

  • Be gone, evil one

    Get the government out of private business. This is no people’s stadium, it’s a Zygi stadium – he’s the greedy one who is demanding an ADDITIONAL $41 MILLION A YEAR.

    And, no matter how hard you try to put sugar on a horse biscuit, it still comes down to the average MN resident having to foot the bill to make Zygi richer.

    I hope the people in Ramsey County get their petition signed with a billion more names than they need to force a referendum so the majority of the people can be heard, Obviously the commissioners and politicians don’t want to respect their constituents.

    Get Zygi and his team of millionaire losers out of MN!

  • TL the alligator

    NO PUBLIC MONEY OR TAX DOLLARS!!!!!…..let them leave unless they are going to pay for it themselves….in an obscene industry where they pay athletes millions of dollars a year they can afford to pay for it themselves PERIOD….the whole dam scene is rife with greed and gluttony and they want taxpayer dollars too?…..we’d have to be a bunch of dam imbeciles to even consider it.

  • TL the alligator

    so these pigs want $41 MILLION TAX DOLLARS?…….well i’d imagine there are at least 41 OVERPAID BY MILLIONS each year employees of this organization who if each one ponied up 1 million dollars there needs would be met….NOW WOULDN’T THEY?………..figure it out, this attempt at the big tax dollar money grab is just that—-AN ATTEMPT AT A MONEY GRAB……AND OUR IMBECILIC MAYORS ARE FALLING FOR IT LIKE NO TOMMOROW…….i say let the vikings AND these mayors and any other elected officials who brown nose to them leave and never come back……there is a very very large segment of taxpayers who dont give a rats butt about this sports team and never have.

  • Jason

    Vikings want a stadium they can pay for it. I cannot justify my hard earned money going to millionaire punk players or arrogant billionaire owners. Money is tight in my house. Isnt our state broke? A few months ago our government was shutdown. This is plain disgusting.

  • Hmmm

    The vikes suck! They always have and always will. Why are we considering a team that only plays here 8 times a year, and always looses?? Why do WE have to pay for something that is a waste? Remember the dome? Same thing happened then as now. And now the dome isn’t “good enough” for them?? Must be nice to smub their noses at us taxpayers. If they want it THEY pay for it!. There is enough money wasted in MN on other garbage projects and welfare!

  • charlie H

    nope – It’s my money (a small part at the least) and I am rallying friends and family to look at Pro sports as entertainment. Nothing more than going to a movie. Business owners pay their gladiators. They sell jock-talk and jiggle-wiggle girls.

  • Met Stadiun

    um, look at the old Met stadium area since the vikes and north stars left … Mall of America. They are open year round, provide jobs, and there is ample parking. Seems that a pro sports franchise was not an economic solution.

    Our politicians are being hood-winked by the best . . . and we are being duped right along with them. Pro sports move out and look at the results !

    • Swamp Rat

      What’s in the tea you been drinking? Sounds like your are anti-sports. Can’t you see the overall 24/7 benefits that this new “peoples’-owned”venue and surrounding related developments will bring to the county and state? Yes, it will cost money at first to build it but why can’t the people, the tax-payers, who really paid for and own it show a profit on their public works investments?

      The way you and others are thinking or espousing any major beneficial public works projects can go by the wayside if there are no governmental subsidies. Just think where we as a country would be if major public works projects like the Hoover Dam, the Mackinac Bridge, Boston’s infrastructure’s “Big-Dig”, MSP International Airport, and the Interstate Highway System [to name a few] were never attempted or built?

      So what’s your beef with a new stadium venue in Arden Hills that will be a 24/7 people’s venue? It’s time to constructively stand up and progressively think of future that would benefit all Minnesotans one way or another. The Vikings maybe owned by the Wilfs but the new stadium, by-rights, belongs to the people of Minnesota since we are the majority owners of it. It’s time we tell the Vikings it’s time to pay their dues etcetera if MN builds the venue.

      • TIred of Stupid

        Read the studies cited you fool.


        Repeating a lie doesn’t magically make it come true.

        • Swamp Rat

          @tired of stupid
          I have read the studies regarding the projects I cited and others. The economic benefit comes over the medium and long term. If you read the research and economic impact history you would see what I am talking about.

          Maybe, I am a “fool” for progress and a better quality of life. Yes, I maybe a “fool” and idealistic optimist for those historical moments or projects that make impacts on all of us. Where would we be as Minnesotans and Americans if we didn’t take a risk or two to better ourselves? I am willing to do my share to improve my lot and my fellow humankind. That’s the American way.

          I am not a “fool” for blind ignorance, rage, or stupidity by not stating, in a coherent concise manner, how I feel. I don’t refer to my detractors as ‘lie repeaters’ unless I have concrete irrefutable proof for such actions. For the Arden Hills venue for the Vikings and the MN citizenry I say–“Build it and they will come”! The benefits will come for all.

          So, “Tired of Stupid” what have you done today to contribute to the benefit of humankind and yourself without calling people–“fool”? It’s a new day what have you done to improve your world? Need I say more.

  • RIII

    I have to wonder if this is what was going on in the Roman Empire before its downfall. Keep the simple minded happy so they don’t think or question.

  • what?!?

    I have an idea – Lets do what the packers did.. Sell share of the team to fans with no pay out.. Fans could get a nice frames piece of paper that says they own 1/1,000,000,000 th of the vikes for their $200 contribution to the new stadium. Then maybe hold a “Owners appreciation game” during the reg season ect.. This way the people that want to pay can and those that want no part has no part…. my 2 cents

    Out side of that

    • Swamp Rat

      Can’t do what you said. The NFL won’t allow it. The Packers got a grandfather clause, to do such fund raising, because of football history and legal precedent. The Vikes can’t do that because they were not originally founded in the old-time NFL and were an expansion team.

      Nice idea but it’s wishful thinking.

  • anonymous

    Let them leave. I live in Anoka county on the boarder area in Blaine. The city was out the other day digging up the lot pins for our property. The explanation was potential need for more housing if stadium comes in. We face a small park which would be gone. It is not big enough for a housing complex. Our fears are the “old neighborhood” would not be good enough and torn down. Eminent domain? Thanks alot. Once again special interests win over govt officials while the general public suffers. Little time is spent on community ramifications.

  • Shore nuff

    Dayton, the Ramsey County commishes, Rybak, and a whole bunch of legislators are buffoons and puppets of one of the most obnoxious, greedy, and arrogant billionaires in the world. Each and every one of them is trying to fleece the people of Minnesota for the sole purpose of giving Zygi an EXTRA $41 MILLION in profits each year – all coming out of our pockets, one way or the other.

    Almost 100% of the supporters express more interest in a place to drink beer than anything else. Few seem to care that the Vikings have a 51 year history of failure and the owners don’t seem to have a plan to change that. But, by Jimminy, they want more profits for themselves. Yah-sure-you-betcha.

    Most of us, on the other hand, are simply looking to have our roads and bridges be safe and relatively free of craters, a reasonable level of police and fire protection, a little education, maybe some property tax relief, and an opportunity to spend our hard earned money on our families..

    • That makes no sense

      Hmmm – you sure expect a lot. Zygi only wants about $650 million up front and an extra $41 million a year from now until the cows come home.

      And you want to spend your money on your family instead of giving it to Zygi? Are you nuts?

  • kid from STP. diehard vikes fan

    im a hard working 24 yr old who loves the vikings , yes it would suck to see them goto la. also i feel like zygi should pay for his own stadium. we need more fan appreciation , meet and greets. there is nothing like seeing mn waste money on chris cook and he doesnt peform at all. injury proned defense, lack of wr’s and horrible offense scheme does tick me off about the vikings. this our team though i would be upset if they went somewhere else i feel we can make a mutual decision where the owners do something right, the dome is just outdated and hard to be comfortable. but are the vikings the worst team , twins get a stadium , wild has excel, why cant we share the facilities like most teams . minnesota is known for mediocre teams besides the lynx i havent seen a championship parade in my life or least i can remember. thats my opinion dont tax me. i got to put clothes on my kids backs and feed them. im working two jobs and god would it be awesome to see ticket prices lower, just saying show our loyal fans some love ..

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