Dayton Says Vikings Stadium Vote ‘Jeopardized’

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that none of the plans so far for a Vikings stadium are good enough to pass the State Legislature.

That assessment comes just six days before the legislature meets in session, and just as the Vikings Metrodome lease expires.

Gov. Dayton reviewed all of the stadium sites in detail, but said he prefers none of them as they currently stand. But in the upside-down world of politics and pigskin, lawmakers said they are still optimistic of a late game football finish.

Dayton said the Arden Hills site isn’t feasible if the legislature requires a public referendum on any stadium tax hike.

The Metrodome site won’t generate economic development, and the funding is shaky. The Basilica site faces stiff opposition from the church.

“The conclusion, regrettably, is that there is no stadium proposal with a complete and proficient financial plan, one which assigns equitable obligations to the Vikings, the state of Minnnesota,” Dayton said at a news conference Wednesday.

Gov. Dayton singled out unnamed legislators who won’t sign onto any stadium plan because they want to delay a vote until after the 2012 elections.

He also expressed optimism that a plan could come together quickly.

“We’re at the five yard line and its first and goal, and I think we’ve got a great opportunity. I think we’ve moved a long ways forward,” Dayton said.

The Vikings’ Metrodome lease expired at the end of the end of the season, and the team said Arden Hills remains its preferred site.

Team officials said they are also facing reality, and are now willing to work with Minneapolis to develop a new stadium plan.

“If Arden Hills is not achievable, we will work with state leaders and the city of Minneapolis to try to negotiate an agreement that would work in Minneapolis,” said Lester Bagley, Vikings’ vice president and lead on stadium development.

Right now, that will take a miracle. The Basilica of St Mary is not happy about a massive NFL stadium near its property line.

“We want to be clear, we don’t believe that our concerns are manageable. We continue to have significant reservations about the idea of a stadium a block and a half away from the Basilica of St. Mary,” said Rev. John Bauer.

A small group of lawmakers is meeting Wednesday night at the State Capitol to hammer out something, anything, on a Vikings stadium.

But it’s looking less likely any stadium bill will be ready by the time the 2012 legislature meets next week.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Ace

    At least they’re starting to show some sense. Now give the Vikings the ultimatum. Pay for it yourself or stay in the dome

    • Curt

      They won’t do that, so just say you want them to move. I don’t have a problem with people not wanting to help with the stadium, but have some sense.

      • Ramsey County - Another Once Bites The Dust

        “Team officials said they are . . . now willing to work with Minneapolis to develop a new stadium plan.”

    • No Mpls Funding either

      How do the Mpls sites face any less battle for funding. The City Council has already stated it will not vote to bypass a citizen referendum vote. No reasonable mpls or henn county tax payer would vote to increase their taxes for this.

  • G

    Play at TCF? No liquor? The purple-face bunch might actually have to spend some time SOBER … NOOOOO!!! …. Say it ain’t so, Ziggy …

    • Drop Kick

      Gee! No reason to urinate in the stands, what fun is that?

      • Mike

        yes, because everyone who goes to the games gets drunk, even young children. Way to stereotype. I’m of legal age, been to plenty of Vikings games and have never had a drink there. Get out of your house once and a while

  • barney

    Zygi is simply asking for too much, too much of everything at a time when it’s exceptionally difficult for people to take care of their own families, much less support a private business. And he certainly hasn’t been very nice about it, expressing greater concern for increasing his personal wealth by $41 million a year than any interest in developing a competitive team. It’s been all “me, me, me.”

    Zygi doesn’t have a franchise on entitlements but he sure acts like he does. This is just not a good time for Minnesota to be in the business of owning a billion dollar stadium when we have so many true needs to take care of with a shoestring budget.

    He needs to seek private funding for the whole project. If the citizens of MN donated the Metrodome property (which is exceedingly generous by itself), he can certainly afford to build a palace on the site. I’m afraid the biggest problem with that is Zygi himself, who clearly is more interested in reaping the rewards from developing the property AROUND a new stadium than in developing a stadium or a team.

    And for you tailgators, wherever a stadium is built, MN or CA or anywhere else, don’t foolishly think that Zygi intends to let you enjoy your beer for free; you will pay dearly for a place to park your keg.

    • brittany

      I dont agree with all that you have to say.. but common sense all states that have an NFL team have them pay to tailgate. so that has nothing to do with zugi

  • gtV

    Well sports fans, looks like it’s time to circle the wagons and say good bye to the Vikings. Arden Hills was the best site of them all. Somehow no one seems to realize that the Arden Hills stadium venue would be the property of the people of Minnesota. The Vikings would be a lessee of the world class facility available for use by all 24/7/365! Oh, yea, of little shortsighted vision!

    Unless, something is done judiciously in the courts, the “MN Vikings” name and logos will the state also. I guess no one cares?

    Funny how the great public works projects in the nation were built in times of economic distress or Depression. You mean to tell me that regardless of our income status and cultural station that we can’t build a project that will have far-reaching effect and opportunities for this state? A World Class Arden Hills venue is going down the tubes and MN will suffer economically and stature-wise for many decades to come.

    It’s unfortunate the Hydra-headed beast of politics, greed, and wanton stupid ignorance has to rear its ugly heads over the greatest MN public works proposal in decades. Say good by to the Vikings. When the leave be sure you turn off the lights. One doesn’t want to lose money on keeping this state in the lights of progress.

    • Rockford

      Hopefully something can be done. It is hard to fathom the glee others may get because a part of the population will no longer have a favored entertainment. Is this where we as a society have come? Pretty sad if it has.

      • ralph

        Why shouldn’t you pay for your own entertainment? If you enjoy football by watching it on television, following in the media, it should not matter where they play.

    • harland

      I’ll happily take the risk of economic disaster if the Vikings leave. Personally, I believe the economic disaster is much more likely to result if they stay here and we get stuck paying for 3/4ths of their shrine.

      If we build the shrine, we’re more likely to be the butt of every comedian on late night TV for years to come … you know, telling stories about how the rubes of Minnesota got fleeced by the rich city slicker from Joisey.

      Nope, I’m perfectly fine with Zippy and his crowd of lawbreakers leaving our state.

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  • dan

    Lay out the cost for all 3 sites. How much cheaper is the Bascilica than Arden Hills? Love how the downtown politics are kicking in on this one. Good luck trying to keep the vikes in MN. This one will be on Daytons shoulders.

  • Paul

    I was told by a DFL insider that Arden Hills was out, and MPLS was in, it’s about Politics, not smarts, typical DFL Dayton shanagans

    • gtV

      You statements are full of bean flatus!!! There is so much BS flying about what can be believed as gospel?

      Put this in your ersatz pundit’s pipe….The Basilica like the St.Paul’s Cathedral is on the National Registry of Historical Sites(?)….Now that complicates Linden Hills as a viable stadium site. Doesn’t it?

      What’s wrong with Arden Hills? The MN people will own the stadium. The development tax revenues from the surrounding Arden Hills areas will go to the local, county, and state treasuries. Zygi’s subsidy contributions will go toward the bonding etc. of the stadium and into the state treasury. And, last but not least, the Vikings will have to pay various business, income, and sales taxes to the state as well as the stadium leasing revenues.

      Just think of major national events, concerts, or state events with ample parking, amenities, and mass transit availabilities. If a hard pressed financially depressed city economy, like Cleveland’s [Ohio], can deal with three pro teams and venues without.showing red ink but a small surplus then MN can do one better. Get the venue built and plan for the related developments to be built so tax revenues can be streaming in. Arden Hills is the best of all locales for being a national go-to site.

      Just think, where would Bloomington be without the MOA? Arden Hills is the proverbial MN lemon awaiting to be utilized for the proverbial 100 proof MN lemonade. Think about that………………

      • Wilfred

        I thought about it. Don’t want it. Not if it costs MN three quarters of a billion dollars.

        Okay with it if Zygmund pays his own way instead of stealing from us.

        MN doesn’t need to own a stadium anyway – too much in expenses, nothing in revenue, not net revenue that is.

      • Jill

        There are no economic benefits to taxpayer subsidized stadiums. Anyone who tells you different is lying.

        Don’t take my word for it, Google the words: Taxpayer subsidized stadiums

        • one more for the road

          Or you could read the report from our own met counsel that states they made 5 times the initial investment in the metrodome in returns associated to rental, taxes, jobs, …. Yeah, lets not trust government and their numbers.

    • ralph

      Arden Hills is out because the Republicans will not pass a bill that says Ramsey County can raise new taxes without a vote by the populace

  • Zachary

    It makes no sence to build another stadium in a very small location like Minneapolis!! its hard enough to find parking and tail gate and accually enjoy a vikings game as it is. It makes me sick to read all of these headlines and storys about how Politicians “know whats best” for this team. Absolutly SICK and ashamed by the city of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota!!! You have a poor vision for this Team and its Fans!

    • Randolph

      Maybe you could write a grammatically correct sentence using the actual English language if you weren’t a Viking fan. Have you considered giving sobriety a try?

      No, I’m sure you have not. You are obviously looking forward to more of that keg beer in the parking lot. Then again, perhaps Cliff Clavin was onto something when he described why beer makes people smarter.

  • Ray

    It’s almost embarrassing to be a Minnesotan lately with this “government” we have and with the number of Minnesota-nice hot dish eaters who are so vastly short sighted. People I talk to in other states just shake their heads in wonderment over the lack of guts and gumption happening here with this stadium issue. Around a dozen or so proposals have crawled their way to Governor mamby pamby’s desk and the best he can say is “jeopardized”? What happened to the idea that political officials are elected to DO SOMETHING and not let traditions and revenue-producing entities leave Minnesota due to inaction and shrugs. As a Viking fan, I almost hope they leave just to spite the few who can do nothing creative to save them. We can erect a wall with their nameplates on it for all to see as their shameful legacy. I feel for the businesses who stayed afloat with NFL football here. THAT is shameful treatment.

    • Conrad

      Any business that “stays afloat” based on 8-10 Viking games a year has to be selling drugs or prostitution services. No viable business and no business owner with an IQ over 25 would attempt to survive on 8-10 games a year.

      What is really embarrassing for Minnesota is the knowledge that we have people who actually believe what you believe. As my sainted mother used to say about people such as you, “Ignorance is bliss; he must be a very happy person.”

  • dg

    where’s the dbag that posts 20 links to why a stadium is not good for the economy???


    Use the 750 mil bonding bill to pay for it. To hell with the rest of the BS. the gov wants to spend it on.

    • Carl

      That’s funny, every picture of the Govenor looks like he just drank a 750 mil bottle of booze

      • Stacy

        You got that right!

    • @kevin

      There is no guarantee the bonding bill will even pass the legislature so there may not be “the rest of the BS.”. Even so, there are more important things to do with the money that benefits All the state, not just some football fans.

      Zig is not doing his part in this either. He is withholding necessary information on his plans to develop the remainder of the Arden Hills site which now appears dead, and also how any site in Mpls would be funded. The legislature won’t make a decision without all the information needed, and rightfully so. Zig is BIG BUSINESS, no more, no less. He cares about the bottom line, not fans. He is playing both sides against the middle and is withholding required information for HIS benefit. He is playing to the emotional side of his fan base, in hopes of swaying the opinion of the realists.

      Face it. Not all people are vikings fans, me included. There are lots of posts about how much it will cost to get another football team back here. With the times and economy, maybe there should not be one. Everything changes, but life will go on without vikings. They don’t pay our rent, car repair and feed our kids. It’s only a game for the pleasure of some.

      Life will go on.

  • expensive

    I don’t care where they put it even if they want to put it on top of the TARGET CENTER. JUST DON”T MAKE TAXPAYERS PAY ANYTHING, the proposal is way TOO expensive!!!

  • Arden Hills is false

    gtv – so much blather full of inaccuracies. There is not economic benefit to build a new stadium. The same argument about build it and it will come didn’t work for the metrodome, see Gov. Markies latest letter…it has been a disaster! There is no far-reaching effect of loosing this team. Entertainment dollars will flow to other venues. The people were NOT going to own the Arden Hills site…and the entire proposal was a speculative sham!

    • OK

      Now there is a post worthy of deep thought. How long did you spend on that one?

    • gtV

      You, too, are full of bean flatus!!! There are economic benefits to building a new venue. Think about it! The Metrodome is a prime example of how some slightly greedy folks took control of the facility and raked it for greens. Surprisingly it wasn’t the Twins. The Dome was designed primarily for football and not the future. The Twins were second fiddle to the Dome and for the financial rewards. Twins owner Calvin Griffith didn’t have the deep pockets of the Vikings’ owners.

      The people do own the Metrodome by virtue of the Met Council Sports Commission. Unless Zygi writes a check for $1.15 million greenbacks to the state; the people of Minnesota will own the stadium venue by virtue of its subsidies and agreements with Zygi and the Vikings. Unless someone gives away the proverbial farm in the deal, the people will make money on this venue deal in many ways. At first, it will cost everyone including Zygi but it’s the tax revenue streams that will go to the state and local treasuries that will show gains.

      Just look at Cleveland’s three pro teams and venues in this economy. Cleveland may be hurting for cash but the sports teams are paying their way even with their dismal records of late. It’s a break even situation with a minor surplus butthe teams aren’t dragging the city down further in debt like the real estate tax situation is doing. If sports can work in Cleveland’s depressed economy then Vikings Stadium can work here where we have it a bit better than Ohio.

      Think about that!

  • j speedbag 64

    people still sniveling about the stadium…….hurry up and get this stadium a few casinos……do what has to be done….

  • huh?

    Yes, me again. You must have missed the story in the Star Trib…oh, a couple months ago, that stated the very elite status of season ticket owners and their average income. Yes, I’m a season ticket owner and rich. And, an independent, politically.

    • What?

      Am I missing something? Why is your political affiliation and your checkbook balance important on this forum. Do you think you are the only one with these credentials?

      Are YOU offering to pay for the stadium?

      • huh?

        I apoligize, but am glad you called it out at the same time. I was responding to a ignaramous comment that has since had his post taken down. He was spouting something about rich elitist democrats wanting to keep the Vikes. Got me ired.

    • You Again

      Well I am not rich or a season ticket owner. So what?

      Bye Zigmunt

  • Helen

    Dayton also said the Metrodome site lacks the opportunity for job creation and future economic development.

    Uh Mark,
    All sites lack this.
    All publicly financed stadiums lack this.


    Don’t take my word for it, Google it yourself.

    • Nate

      Wow! you must mask yourself with a ton of different names. You just copy and paste the same post all the time. Wow, that is lame…learn to argue another point.

      • Helen

        As long as they keep repeating their lies, I am going to keep repeating the truth.

        Why don’t you get on their case for lying?

        Do your own research, use Google.

      • Lame?

        I like her point and think it is very appropriate here. Did you read all the links? If you had, you would realize what a mistake building this shrine would be.

        Lame? I hear this term used a lot by young people. If you were truly “lame”,(birth defect, illness, etc.) would you like people referring to you as lame?

        Helen, Karen, Sheila or whatever name you use–keep ’em coming. Maybe if enough people read your links, they will see past Ziggy and his misfits.

        • Nate

          Um yea I did, the problem with this article is the demographics. it was written in Washington. There are 11 NFL teams on the East Coast and 7 Teams close to with in the same distance as it is to Green Bay for us. They mention that only 5-10% will travel for a game. Well when teams are a lot closer in proximity I can see that. However with greater distances to go more people are going to stay and visit brining more in to our economy.

          Second, There are a lot more entertainment venues out East compared to here, so I don’t know where the 20 million in tax revenue will be made up if they leave.

          Third your missing the point on big ticket items too. With a new stadium we are going to have a Super Bowl or two, that is huge money that it would bring to the State. Imagine 75,000 seats sold at $1000 average face value price. Last minute tickets go for $5000. The face value is $75,000,000 in taxable revenue for tickets alone. At our sales tax price that is $5 million for to our State. Now factor in the huge prices hotels will charge and all business in the area would make on that single event. If the State wants to charge more taxes on tickets go ahead people will pay it.

          I just don’t agree with the article, and I am calling out Helen or who ever it is, becasue those same links are on here all the time and they should look to new sources once in a while.

          • @Nate

            Considering it will take almost 30 years to repay the loan PLUS interest, (previous WCCO articles), the state cannot afford this venture. There are more important things than a game. I respect your arguments on demographics, but it is still the most expensive construction project ever undertaken in Mn. And during our lousy economy no less!

            How many years in the future would a super bowl be? Aren’t they scheduled about 10 years out or so? Certainly not something to take to the bank for many years.

            On the other hand, if Wilf wants to pay for the whole thing, I am all FOR it. Build away then.

            Thanks for not using Lame in your response. Shows maturity for us retired folks.

          • Ralph

            Nate, Had Detroit gotten a second Superbowl? Did the Metrodome ever get a Superbowl? Did Seattle ever get even one after building twoo sports stadiums for the Seahawks? There aree no guarentees for a Superbowl. Thee tax revenue you claim generated only pays back half the tab, the other half paid by the locals will not come back to them.

            • Nate

              Detroit has gotten one, but it will take a little time to shuffle through again. And the Dome had a Super Bowl Number 26. We haven’t since and never will again with the dome obviously. I look to the big ticket items to generate a lot of money. Also, the stadium would be used for other events, such as the Prep Bowl, Home and Garden Shows, College Baseball, and a wide variety of other intrests too.

              I support building at the Dome’s location and I also support utilizing gambling to fund this as well. That way it won’t be on the locals, you can gamble if you want you have that choice. But none the less this would be used by other functions by locals. I say if they can generate the income that way that would be great. I still don’t see what entertainment out there could generate $300,000,000.00. That is what’s needed to get the $20 million at the 6.75% sales tax. Please give me some examples, because I don’t want my taxes to increase when they leave also…

  • Mea Jojns

    Good. I’m sick of this country paying millions of dollars to build an expensive arena for men to play a silly game.

  • Journeyone

    Frank was just talking during the five o’clock news to WCCO radio and she said “people are saying the Vikings are Minnesota number 1 team”. What? I have lived here for 49 years, what has the QUEENS EVER done for this state but embarrass it? Get rid of them.

  • Goob

    Having a party at home with some friends and family is better than going to the games. The only drunks we have to put up with…are friends or relatives. We are still enjoying football every weekend even though the queens aren’t in. Let them greedy people move. I’ll still be enjoying the games!!!

  • Rufus Larkin

    They say the stadium vote is “jeopardized”? Well, “Lets Make a Deal” and if “The Price is Right” just dump ship those loser’s out to Los Angeles!

  • Lonnie Jensen

    I would expect an announcement, very very soon, by the Vikings that they are moving to Los Angelels. From a business tandpoint they know they are wanted there and it is getting pretty appaerent there is not going to be any stadium bulit here in Minnesota. The Vikings owners will move the Vikings and get on with the business of running a professional football team.

    • Jason

      @ Lonnie Thats right it is just a buisness. The truth finally comes out.

  • Jason

    Put this to a vote and it will not pass. Way too many important items to pay for. I cannot afford this and my kids cannot either.

  • Jason

    We cannot afford this. However, Zippy can. This whole situation makes about as much sense as myself asking for change from a street beggar.

  • Brandan Fiedler

    Let’s finda a way to get this stadium built in MINNESOTA for the Minnesota Vikings. We can not afford to lose revenue in the state coffers.

    • Not that again

      Cmon Brandan! That argument has been proven false soooooo many times in this forum and the news. See the links above and do the google search as noted.

      You need some new material.

  • Not on my Dime

    So, Ziigy paid 13 million for a apartment in NY so I think he can come up with more funds for a stadium deal here if he wants. I still think a far better site would be down in Iowa by Diamond Joes. Great Highway and wide open spaces. Iowa could use there state gambling revnues to pay for it. I know the purple people want them to stay here but not on my dime. I agree with th Gov. On this, what happenes to all the shops and retraunts, hotels in Arden Hills when there is not a game going on??? I will bet my 2cents that if they build out there those shops etc. Would fold up as fast as you blink an eye. Can’t make a $ when there is nothing else in the area going on.

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