Reporting Pat Kessler
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WEB EXTRA: Minneapolis Stadium Proposal
WEB EXTRA: Ramsey County Stadium Proposal
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The time is up for Vikings stadium plans. Gov. Mark Dayton set 5 p.m. Thursday as the deadline to submit proposals.
That’s so the state legislature can start debating the options. It all boils down to building a new facility at a site in Arden Hills, one in Shakopee, or keeping it Minneapolis, possibly where the Metrodome is now.
Ramsey County officials marched their plan into the Governor’s Office Thursday, and delivered with it a little bit of attitude. They said enough is enough.
“It’s time to get real. It’s time to get this piece of business done and finished for the state,” said Rafael Ortega with the Ramsey County Commissioners. “Our proposal includes all the work we’ve planned.”
Ramsey County does have one thing no other site can claim: The Minnesota Vikings. But in a late afternoon news conference, team officials said while they support the Arden Hills site, they’re prepared to go wherever the Legislature tells them to.
“There’s great urgency to get this resolved and that means there’s great urgency to come up with a legislative package before the session starts and has that site and finance plan that works,” said Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president and lead in stadium development.
To build Ramsey County’s Arden Hills site, Ramsey County officials are proposing a three percent food and beverage tax.
Minneapolis has two sites: The site where the Metrodome currently sits and a Linden Avenue site that’s currently behind the Basilica, financed by diverting city sales taxes in 2016.
Gov. Dayton said he’ll take several days to review all the plans and endorse one next week, urging lawmakers to do the same soon.
“If it’s going to just get torpedoed to the end of the session and not even be something people are going to want to vote on because they’re worried about how to fix their re-election, their jobs rather than thousands of other people’s jobs, then let’s admit that at the beginning and move on,” Dayton said.
The State Legislature is set to convene on Jan. 24 to start its session.