MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s a possible climate change at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Top lawmakers will meet next week with the owners of Minnesota’s new Major League Soccer franchise to discuss public funding for a stadium in Minneapolis.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s opposed to public funding, but now he’s agreed to meet with team owners to talk about it.

“I said I would be glad to do so if I get the specifics of what they are asking from the public sector before the meeting,” Dayton said.

MLS franchise owner Bill Maguire meets next week with the governor, Democratic Senate Leader Tom Bakk and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt.

All are opposed to public funding, and other state lawmakers say they cannot detect any “soccer” fever.

“I think the average Minnesotan would hold up a red card,” Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, said. “We’re not going to fund another stadium. We’re not going to fund a soccer stadium.”

One possibility for discussion is taxpayer-funded infrastructure around a stadium, including freeway ramps.

But the governor says team owners should build a stadium themselves.

“I don’t believe the public has any further appetite for subsidizing another professional sports stadium,” Dayton said.

A spokesman for the Minnesota United soccer franchise declined comment on next week’s meetings at the Capitol.

Pat Kessler

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