Vikings To Meet With Minneapolis To Narrow List Of Potential Sites For Stadium
The Vikings said that they will "meet with Minneapolis city leaders in the next few days and help them narrow their list of potential stadium sites -- even as the team continues to assert its preference for Arden Hills in Ramsey County," according to Eric Roper of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Vikings Dir of Corporate Communications Jeff Anderson said that team officials "received a letter from Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minneapolis Council President Barb Johnson on Wednesday and will meet with city officials before next Tuesday's stadium hearing at the State Capitol." Anderson said that the team "remains committed to Arden Hills site but is willing to 'assist the city in their analysis.'" Anderson said the Vikings would not be "going in there with the intention of telling them what site." Rather, he said that team officials will "give feedback that is requested on the Metrodome, the Farmers Market site and a third location on Linden Avenue, near the Basilica of St. Mary." Rybak said earlier in the day that the Vikings' "reluctance to meet was the only factor preventing the city from winnowing its list of stadium sites" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/1).
MAKING PLANS: Rybak claimed that a stadium "can be built on the Metrodome site for a lot less money than it can be in Arden Hills," and he said that there are "a couple of other site options on the table." Rybak and Johnson "claim they can gain support for the Vikings stadium in Minneapolis with their plan that also would enable them to take care of remodeling Target Center." Since that arena is "supported by property taxes, their proposal would reduce those taxes in Minneapolis, something residents could support" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/1). In St. Paul, Melo & Belden noted as Minneapolis "makes a move on a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, Ramsey County officials are quietly looking at new funding options -- such as taxes on booze and hotels -- to keep their Arden Hills location competitive." At a Capitol hearing this week, Senate Taxes Committee Chair Julianne Ortman "told Ramsey County officials to come up with a plan that reduces the state's contribution toward a stadium" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/1).