MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings dislike a new stadium funding source presented to them by Ramsey County officials. Lester Bagley, the Minnesota Vikings vice-president of Public Affairs and Stadium Development, spoke with Steve Thomson and Eric Nelson of WCCO Radio. He said this wasn’t the county’s best proposal.

WCCO’s Eric Nelson & Steve Thomson Interviews Lester Bagley

“This is their third swing at it,” he said. “We actually preferred and thought their previous versions were more viable. But, of course, what is politically achievable is the question at the Capitol. What could get the votes? So they put a package together that included some user fees.”

The new funding proposal for Arden Hills includes; user fees, parking lot naming rights, $25-per-vehicle parking fees, a 3 percent tax on every Vikings ticket and hospitality taxes. Bagley said the proposal was problematic for the Vikings because the team was counting on some of the revenues that would go to the county instead.

“We have some issues, but Ramsey County is hanging in there,” he said. “We’re working hard. We’re still alive, but we just have some issues with this latest version.”

As for Minneapolis as a possible stadium location, Bagley said the city is still in the running, but like Arden Hills, it comes with issues.

“It’s been clear to us, and told to us by numerous legislators on both sides of the isle, that if the stadium is going to be built in Minneapolis, there is going to need to be city support for it,” Bagley said.

He said that is one of the challenges the city has.

“The mayor and council president Barbara Johnson are working hard on that,” he said. “Let’s get support of the city council, because that is going to be critical for any progress at the Capitol.”

He said there are issues regarding the Metrodome as a possible stadium location because they would have to tear it down and play two or three seasons at TCF Bank Stadium.

Comments (22)
  1. Pundit says:

    Instead of a Ticket Tax, why don’t the Vikings just raise the price of tickets? Why does the government need to be involved?

    This whole deal reeks of corruption, kickbacks, dishonest politicians and greedy team owners.

    Just like the Twins stadium.

    1. mark says:

      Well said, there is something wrong with the picture

    2. VA172 says:

      I totally agree. This is not a public company and the profits will go to a private ownership. The offsets of public money and other business is not enough to make up for what we as tax payers will fork out. Viking owners want this for one reason, to increase the value of the team for resale. The profits will go to the owner.

    3. Tc Kelly says:

      Doesn’t everything that include politics reek of corruption, kickbacks, dishonest people?

  2. djones says:

    Racino pulltabs will pay for stadium.schools.roads .etc.plus other things. Simple no new taxes for the people . You negitive people wouldn t know a good solution if it smacked you in the face!!! Your politicians are dishonest when taking lobbying money from the tribal casinos . Times are tough so they can share the wealth.

    1. Jill says:

      If there is money to be made from this, why should Zygi get it?

      What about children, education, the environment, property tax relief, medical research, etc.

      All are more important to society that helping a billionaire get richer.

      What is WRONG with you?

      1. Jason says:

        @ Jill , at the end of the day we will still hear the same, need more money for education/ police / fire / roads / infrastructure. Or do we really not need these services to the extent that thier presented? Thats the main reason im agaist this stadium. Comes down to priorites nothing more nothing less.

        1. Ace says:

          We do need police, fire roads, infrastructure, things that cannot be done privately but a stadium is not a necessity and should only be done in the private sector. Since when is entertainment a necessity?

          1. Scott Dahlquist says:

            If entertainment were a necssity, it shouldn’t be taxed, IE: food and clothing

      2. Tc Kelly says:

        There is never anything good that comes out of politics. It’s who can pad there own pockets the most are the ones that are best.

  3. weswon says:


    Please move the franchise somewhere else. Maybe Brooklyn would be a better place for the team. Right in your own back yard Mr. Wilf.

  4. phooey says:

    No public money for Zygi and the Vikings! It’s a financial disaster for the taxpayers so MN needs to stay out of it. Zygi can pay his own way or leave.

    And … been said before but I’ll say it again too … Bagley has to be the absolute WORST PR guy that Zygi could have chosen.

    This entire deal stinks to high heaven, as do the Vikings. 51 years of nothing of nothing but stink.

    1. Tc Kelly says:

      There should never be any public money used for anything that everyone BUT the public has an advantage of. We pay the most and always get the least.

  5. Ron Gaskin says:

    Just reminding people and taxpayers and gamblers that the simplest solution is Shakopee. Why overlook the obvious solution?

  6. Bubba says:

    Why the issue with calling them what they are – a bunch of blood sucking parasites
    Move ’em – I don not care. I watch everyone but the m anyway….dogs and pigs in purple

  7. Paul Bunyan says:

    Just got back from a Vikings children’s fundraiser on Mille Lacs lake. I saw a lot of happy kids getting autographs from their favorite players so don’t tell me they don’t give back to the community.

    1. Ace says:

      oh please, you’re making me cry. Bring on the violins.

    2. ronnie says:

      I’ll sign a few napkins too if you’ll pay me a few million for six months of playing a game – and not playing it very well I might add.

    3. oh joy and glad tidings abound says:

      How many of ’em got arrested this year?

  8. PLATOON says:

    Ace,ronnie,and joy= one ugly hottub party YEECCHH!!!!

  9. Jorgy says:

    Yeah and they can take the Twins, wild , and Wolves cause they all suck!

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