Tick, Tock: Minn. Lawmakers On The Clock For Vikings Stadium Proposal
Metropolitan Sports Commissioner Chair Ted Mondale Friday said that "‘time is not on our side right now’ for getting a Minnesota Vikings stadium plan through the Legislature this year, although proponents are still pushing for a solution,” according to Mike Kazuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Mondale said that while "divisions over the best site and financing plans remain," time may be the project's "‘biggest enemy’ in trying to draw up a final proposal.” He added that the stadium's prospects “could change dramatically ... should supporters agree on a stadium site and a public funding mechanism.” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said it is a "genuine possibility" that a decision on the stadium could be delayed until '13. Dayton last week said that while he "leaned toward building a stadium near the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis, all of the proposed locations still have multiple problems.” Mondale Friday predicted that the region's “top business leaders and labor unions would quickly get behind a stadium drive once a proposal is made final” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/21). In Minneapolis, Rochelle Olson noted even though an analysis last week by Dayton put the Vikings stadium site in Arden Hills “on the disabled list,” Ramsey County officials said that they are “waiting on the sideline and ready to reenter the stadium fray when called.” As negotiators “turn their focus to potential Minneapolis sites, the county and Vikings officials plan to stand firm on their $1.1 billion proposal and see what shakes out when the Legislature convenes next week.” Ramsey County is “staying in the hunt because officials believe it is possible there are deal-busting pitfalls at the Minneapolis sites, too” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/21). In St. Paul, Joe Soucheray wrote there “was never any chance of the Arden Hills site.” Soucheray: “We are governed by new urbanists and their rosy vision of a sustainable urban core and whatnot, and the prospect of building a place out in Arden Hills surrounded by acres of parking smacked of such a 1950s suburban idyll that it never stood a chance even if somebody could write a check for it. Metrodome. Basilica. Those are the options” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/22).