Although very little news has filtered out in the past couple weeks about a new Vikings stadium — and we can be grateful for that — it seems in the taxpayer-funded stadium business that it’s never over until its built.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf remains confident that it’s going to happen soon, despite being shut out during the regular legislative session and the special legislative session.
Wilf told AP sportswriter Jon Krawczynski Wednesday that he believes there will be yet another special session this fall to take care of his business. He’s still talking about the $1 billion Arden Hills stadium:
“We still have some work ahead of us to put all the pieces in place, but we’re very confident that we will have something worked out in the near future,” Wilf said at training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato. “Hopefully that could be addressed in a special session. But we’re very confident in our location and the future of the franchise in a new stadium in Arden Hills.”
The team is committed to play just one more year at the newly-re-inflated Metrodome. There’s always been the underlying threat that the team will bolt to Los Angeles, where officials are actively pursuing an NFL franchise, but even NFL.com reported this summer that the most likely tenant of a new LA stadium would be the San Diego Chargers.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and it’s an ongoing process. We want to make sure when it’s all said and done that the facility works out for everybody who is a partner in the venture and that it’s a venture that everybody can look forward to and utilize for the best benefit of everybody in Minnesota and for our fans.”
The current plan calls for taxpayer dollars to fund most of the stadium: $300 million from the state and $350 million from an added sales tax only in Ramsey County. The Vikings would put up about $400 million. Even then there’s a shortage of some $175 million to upgrade highways in the area to be ready for fans to drive 10 times a year to the stadium complex, where they’ll pay the Vikings up to $50 a game to park.