Dayton & Vikings One Step Closer To Closing Stadium Deal
A meeting Tuesday that included Gov. Mark Dayton, Ted Mondale, Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf and team Vice President Lester Bagley has given new hope that a Ramsey County stadium bill will be passed at a special session of the Legislature after the budget is settled.
At the meeting in the governor’s office, the word is that the Wilfs agreed to add around $30 million more to the $407 million contribution they made from the start toward building the stadium.
This additional contribution would be put toward generating funds necessary to build the roads around the Arden Hills site, one of the big factors in holding up a bill. Apparently, there were strong negotiations at the meeting, with Dayton giving in on some of his demands and the Wilf brothers doing the same.
The governor has insisted that the state would contribute a maximum of $300 million toward the $1 billion stadium, and that state contribution had to include the cost of road improvements.
Another meeting with the same principals is scheduled for Thursday, at which time any disagreements between Dayton and the Vikings could be worked out so that everybody is satisfied and a bill could be presented during a special session.
No doubt the Wilfs are more optimistic about getting a stadium bill passed this year than they have ever been before.
It also is apparent that Dayton is very eager to get the stadium bill passed so as to eliminate any chance of the team leaving once its Metrodome lease expires after the season, assuming there is a 2011 NFL season.
As much as Vikings fans cross their fingers it still seems to be a long shot to get this stadium issue figured out. It’s great news to see Gov Dayton on the Vikings side but the deficit naturally has to be the states number 1 concern. Rumors have flown that costs could be cut down by building a fixed roof. That could help reduce the cost, but would that be enough to get a deal done?