SBD/January 6, 2012/Facilities

Gov. Dayton Sets Thursday Deadline For Vikings Stadium Proposals

Dayton wants to choose a stadium site before legislature convenes Jan. 24
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is "giving Minneapolis and Ramsey County until next week to submit final proposals" on a new Vikings stadium, according to Kaszuba & Roper of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Dayton Thursday said that a location for the "much-debated project soon will be 'clear cut.'" Dayton: "One of them will show ultimately to be a better option." While the Vikings "have insisted for nearly a year that they want to build in Arden Hills," team VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley Thursday acknowledged that "others will influence the decision." Dayton set a deadline of 5:00pm CT Thursday and said that he "wants to choose a stadium site and funding plan by the time the Legislature convenes Jan. 24." Recently elected state Senate majority leader Dave Senjem has said that "any stadium plan would 'move deliberately' through the Legislature." Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said Thursday that the city "will stick with its proposal to build on the site of the Metrodome." Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett "expressed frustration Thursday, wondering whether the latest timetable was 'the last hoop' in his efforts to bring a $1.1 billion stadium to suburban Arden Hills" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/6). Dayton Thursday said, "I've always believed you need to have deadlines in order to get people to finally do what they need to do." In St. Paul, Belden & Murphy note Dayton "set a similar timeline last fall to have information submitted in preparation for a pre-Thanksgiving special session, but that plan fell apart in the face of opposition from Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers." Dayton "acknowledged there's no guarantee that this deadline -- which he set for 5 p.m. Jan. 12 -- will be met either, but he said he collaborated with key stadium lawmakers Rep. Morrie Lanning and Sen. Julie Rosen in setting it in order to facilitate legislative buy-in" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/6).
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