Bagley: Ramsey Co. Hanging In There; Mpls. Not Out

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(credit: Minnesota Vikings)

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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.

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