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Dayton touts Ramsey County, rips Minneapolis council on stadium efforts

Gov. Mark Dayton sang the praises of Ramsey County and attempted to give the Minneapolis City Council a swift kick at his morning news briefing.

Attempting to keep hopes alive for a Vikings stadium in Arden Hills, Ramsey County commissioners arrived at the Capitol carrying still a new way to create revenue to come up with a local portion of the cost of the $1 billion project.

(The Vikings later said they weren’t impressed with Ramsey County’s new proposal, which would call for the county to capture some parking revenue and other stadium-related income to cover its cost of the project. The Vikes want most of those revenues for themselves.)

But Dayton is impressed with Ramsey County’s efforts.

“I give Ramsey County a lot of credit,” Dayton said. “They’ve been straightforward from the beginning. That’s much in contrast to Minneapolis.”

There, the governor said, the project “can’t even get a letter from the City Council of support.”

Dayton praised Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Council President Barb Johnson for “doing their best.”

“But at this point, there’s no letter,” he continued. “I understand now why the Vikings said, ‘Enough of Minneapolis.’ It’s a merry-go-round with the Minneapolis City Council.”

Dayton backed off, a little, on the idea that if the Legislature doesn’t take action on the Vikings stadium this session, the state could lose the team.

“The urgency is to put Minnesotans back to work,” he said.

He took one more shot at both legislators who are reluctant to support the project and at the Minneapolis City Council.

“So many want to sit on the sideline and just take potshots,” he said.

The potshot-takers, he suggested, should be the ones to explain to angry Minnesotans if the team should become “the Los Angeles Vikings.”

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