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Vikings ready to swoop in on special session with stadium plan

After announcing the budget deal agreement Thursday, the visibly weary Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders were asked about a new Vikings stadium.

Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers all seemed to roll their eyes at the question. They said they haven’t even thought about the Vikings for weeks.

But the Vikings have been thinking about it, and are ready to pounce, says a Star Tribune story:

The Vikings’ proposal would include at least $407 million from the team, $300 million from the state and $350 million from Ramsey County, largely through a countywide sales tax increase. The proposal, despite heavy media speculation, has yet to have a hearing at the State Capitol this year.

But the Vikings indicated that, with the budget shutdown likely ending, it was time to focus on the stadium. The deal at the State Capitol, said Lester Bagley, the team’s vice president for public affairs and stadium development, “means it is time to move the stadium discussion forward.’

Bagley said that as recently as Thursday he had phone conversations with Ted Mondale, Dayton’s chief stadium negotiator, Ramsey County officials and legislators. Bagley said the discussions would continue Friday.

“We are very close to an agreement. It’s not complete, but it’s close enough that we believe we can iron out the final details in discussions beginning” Friday, Bagley said.

Nearly all of the stadium discussions with public officials have been held in private.

The remaining issues, said Bagley, were the stadium’s management and operations, construction and design as well as “size and scope.” The question, he said, is, “can we reduce the size of the project and therefore [the] cost?”

Clearly, not all legislators are in the mood for stadium talks or deals, but the Vikings are confident, the story said:

As to whether the anti-tax GOP would approve a deal, Bagley said, “it’s up to them, we’ve done what we’ve been asked.”

Does he think it will pass in a special session? Bagley said it has a “reasonable chance.”

But Sen. John Howe, R-Red Wing, said now was not the time to bring up the Vikings stadium at the State Capitol. “I don’t think it fits in at this time at all,” he said Thursday.

“I would hope no one would bring that up,” he said, referring to the upcoming special legislative session.

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by craig furguson on 07/15/2011 - 10:34 am.

    After all we’ve been through with the state shutdown and borrowing money to fix the budget, do you think the legislators will authorize an additional 1/2 percent SALES TAX on Ramsey residents to fund the stadium? I think not.

  2. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 07/15/2011 - 11:18 am.

    NO! NononononononoNO! The Minnesota Vultures had better NOT pick at the carcass of education in this state. $700 million from schools to sports would be an even greater travesty.

  3. Submitted by greg copeland on 07/15/2011 - 11:42 am.

    Joe Kimball has is right there is no desire for a Special Session to levy $373 million in new sales taxes and to write Zygi a check for $300 million Minnesota does not have for a Vikings Stadium.

    Gov. Dayton should tell his Commissioner of People’s Stadiums, Ted Mondale, to tell Zygi’s Bagman, Lester Bagley: Forget About It!

    Zygi’s from New Jersey, he’ll understand; There will be No Special Session deal now.

  4. Submitted by David Greene on 07/15/2011 - 12:00 pm.

    No way, no how. If a stadium deal is part of this special session I will be up at the capitol pounding the table testifying against it. Don’t make a very bad deal worse.

  5. Submitted by John Ferman on 07/15/2011 - 12:42 pm.

    It is within the power of the Legislature to amend the City Charters of Minneapolis and St Paul in such a way to seize all property tax and fee revenues and spend it any way the Republicans want. Of course, Zigi would get $1.5B palace on a platter, and there is nothing you nor I can do about it. Except revolt.

  6. Submitted by scott lloyd on 07/15/2011 - 12:56 pm.

    As much as I wouldn’t want to see a change in locations of the Purple & Gold; having an NFL team is a privilege that you don’t deserve without support. It’s probably best that you don’t have an impact to the educational fund since you would think by now you’d have a clue, what with the loss of basketball and hockey to other places in the past; what these entities mean to an area.
    That’s OK though, L.A.’s closer for me now to attend games…..

  7. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 07/15/2011 - 01:16 pm.

    Holy Mother of Pearl, NO! If millionaires get off scott-free in the budget deal, kids in school get the shaft via a record-setting ‘delay’ in payments, then there is no way in heck I will tolerate a Vikings stadium deal.

    Is Zigy that deaf to the horrors of our situation? Let them eat cake barely even approaches the outrage of building a billion dollar palace to vanity and ego when health and human services are being cut not just to the bone, but into bone.

    Our moral compass has swung far from true north!

  8. Submitted by Eric Gunderson on 07/15/2011 - 01:50 pm.

    That the legislature is going to keep $350 mil from our schools now and give it to the football pols is beyond reasoned thinking…Don’t they have the spine to tell them to go out and get their own ball park to play in because our own schools need fixing and funding to function fittingly in the future…I can’t believe we’d even consider something as outragious as this…

  9. Submitted by Sue Halligan on 07/15/2011 - 02:58 pm.

    Hear, Hear, Ralf Wyman! I am glad to read that ALL parties on the podium rolled their eyes when the question of a new stadium was raised!

  10. Submitted by Michael Bowler on 07/15/2011 - 03:50 pm.

    Here is the deal. I am a supporter of a new stadium for the Vikings, but they will be the biggest victim of a budget settlement that is not fair and is balanced on the backs of school kids and our grandchildren. Had there been an agreement on either taxing the rich more fairly or a shared non-renewable consumption tax, then a special session could have included a well-thought out Vikings stadium plan. It will not now, given the decision to let K-12 education bear the burden of the settlement. The Vikings need to get the money they would have gotten from the state from the rich who will not pay their fair share of taxes– fair is fair!

  11. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 07/15/2011 - 04:01 pm.

    What politician in their right mind would sign up for a stadium deal?

    I mean shifting and deferring payments and then borrowing from schools and the tobacco fund is one thing …..

  12. Submitted by Tony George on 07/18/2011 - 07:54 am.

    No state money for a Viking statium unless there is an additional tax on the rich to pay for it.

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