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NEW STADIUM

Ramsey County Public Discussion Regarding Vikings New Stadium

July 14, 2011 by Nick in NEW STADIUM

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A public discussion on the proposed $1.1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium for Arden Hills drew dozens of stadium fans and opponents to the Ramsey County Public Works building in Arden Hills on Wednesday night.

The “listening session” was hosted by the county and organized by state Rep. Katie Knuth, DFL-New Brighton, who invited Aimee Gourley, a legal professor at Hamline University’s Mediation Center, to lead the conversation.

Stadium supporters said no other developer would touch the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, a polluted federal Superfund site.

They also said the suburbs have supported stadiums in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis for 30 years. And the projects, while inspiring controversy and opposition at the outset, have all been popular draws once built, they added.

Knuth, however, said she had concerns about the proposed funding strategy for the stadium, which would rely on a half-cent countywide sales tax to raise Ramsey County’s contribution of $350 million. The state would pay an additional $300 million and the Vikings would put in at least $407 million, with the funding sources for road improvement costs still up in the air.

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“I’m actually leaning toward voting against the bill because of the half-cent sales tax,” Knuth said.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the city council have opposed the half-cent tax.

Residents from Arden Hills, Shoreview and New Brighton expressed concern about the limited public transportation for the

site, traffic congestion, public safety and the quality of jobs likely to be created by the stadium.

The Vikings have said the project would create 13,000 full- and part-time jobs, including 7,500 construction jobs.

Full story here

MNVIKINGSBLOG.COM ANALYSIS:

Nothing new here.  Nobody wants to pay for the stadium yet everyone wants to profit off of it.  A half cent tax increase would be tiny in comparison to the extra revenue Ramsey County would generate through gameday related income.   It also seems like the financial numbers for this stadium fluctuates several hundred million of dollars.  We have heard everything from “200 million less then the original 1 billion estimate” to the 1.1 billion mentioned in this article.  Passing this bill won’t be easy but it absolutely has to be done.  Let’s keep the vikings in Minnesota forever!

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