SBD/December 8, 2011/Facilities

State Rep Calls Minneapolis' Plan For New Vikings Stadium "Inadequate"

Minneapolis leaders facing tough questions about financing proposed stadium
One day after Minneapolis "seemed to gain some momentum as a site for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, the lead House author for stadium legislation said that the city’s stadium plan is 'quite inadequate,'" according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. State Rep. Morrie Lanning also said yesterday that Minneapolis’ claim that it "could contribute $300 million toward a new Vikings stadium without raising taxes was 'very misleading' because much of the money would not be immediately available." Lanning’s comments came after state Sen. Julie Rosen, the Senate's chief author on stadium legislation, said that the Minneapolis plan "seemed to be gaining strength." Lanning yesterday said that the Arden Hills proposal had "received much greater scrutiny than any Minneapolis stadium plan." While he conceded that Ramsey County officials "had to find local funding for the project Lanning did not -- like Rosen -- reject having the county use local option taxes" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 12/7). In St. Paul, Melo & Belden note as Minneapolis leaders "will face tough questions about how they plan to finance" a new stadium. Some of those asking the toughest questions yesterday were Ramsey County officials who "fear their plan for a $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills is being overlooked." Ramsey County Finance Dir Lee Mehrkens said, "We're going on the record saying we don't know what their (Minneapolis') math is, because we haven't seen their financial plan. There's no written proposal. When are they going to have a document that's going to be made public?" Melo & Belden note politically, Minneapolis "appeared to be ahead in the stadium race after the final Senate hearing on the issue Tuesday." Leading lawmakers said that they were "impressed that city officials were putting money on the table and lining up behind a refurbished Metrodome, which they say would cost about $200 million less than an Arden Hills stadium" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/8).
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