MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One day after Major League Soccer awarded a new franchise to Minnesota, the governor said the owners should not expect public financing for a new stadium.
The team is looking at a possible 20,000 seat “soccer park” near the Farmers Market site in downtown Minneapolis.
However, after the several struggles to building new sporting venues in the state, there is no appetite at the Capitol to use taxpayer money to build a soccer stadium, according to Gov. Mark Dayton.
“It’s great that you are coming,” the Democrat says he told MLS and Minnesota’s new franchise owners. “[It’s] great that you are bringing this franchise and this excitement to Minnesota, but this time you are going to have to go it alone.”
Without the new stadium, Minnesota’s new soccer franchise might go away, according MLS commissioner Don Garber.
Team owners are considering building the stadium in the Minneapolis Farmers Market neighborhood near the new Twins stadium, which received public funding from the state.
The state also helped finance the Vikings stadium and the TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota. Each was a decade long fight, using up political capital which the governor says is now spent.
“Stadium fatigue describes it,” the governor said. “At the Legislature, myself and the general public.”
The state could pay for, and move ahead of schedule, highway ramp expansions leading to and from downtown Minneapolis.
Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said he agrees with Dayton that no public money should be spent on a soccer stadium.
And Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk is blunt in his assessment: “They shouldn’t even come to ask for it.”