Basilica Leaders Talk With Dayton On Stadium Plans

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton took a private meeting Friday with church leaders at the Basilica of St. Mary to discuss their concerns over one potential site for a new Vikings stadium.

Basilica leaders have already come out to say they’re not pleased with a stadium proposal they feel would be too near to their church.

Father John Bauer said earlier this week that people at the Basilica feel like they would be a football throw away. Bauer said they’d even consider going as far as to take legal action.

A spokesperson at the church said Bauer is expected to show Dayton why he’s opposed to idea.

Bauer is concerned about how all the heavy machinery and vibrations that come with construction would impact the building, which is more than 100 years old. He’s also worried about traffic, and how the noise a football game with 60,000 people would affect Sunday mass.

With the Vikings lease at the Metrodome weeks from being up, stadium proponents have been feeling the pressure to find a solution fast. Arden Hills, the current Metrodome site and the Linden Avenue site are on the table.

Dayton says they’ve got to get it down to one.

“To get one bill, that has one site and one financial plan, hopefully it will be voted up or down,” said Dayton.

Zellers said lawmakers can’t make any decisions until there’s a definite plan. Financing and location have been two of the biggest hurdles.

“It’s a game of ‘what if,’ and I think you have filled up a lot of ink and a lot of TV time on the ‘what if’ part of it,” said Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers. “Until you get specifics, it’s a game of ‘what if?'”

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