The Vikings stadium situation is coming to a head. The Vikings Metrodome lease is up after this season so a deal needs to get done before the end of the legislative session if the team is going to stay long term. Thankfully, new Governor Mark Dayton has wasted little time in addressing the Vikings stadium situation. He has intimated that the Republicans need to send him a bill so he can sign it and he doesn’t want them screwing around until the end of the session like they did last year. To help facilitate a deal Dayton appointed Ted Mondale to chair the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.
Mondale was at the Capitol yesterday in front of a Senate committee reiterating Dayton’s desire to get a deal done. Julie Rosen has stated that she will introduce a bill in February that will include a site, design and funding mechanism. Previously the Vikings were working on building a new stadium on the site of the Metrodome. Before that they were working with Anoka County on a deal. Talks with Arden Hills and Ramsey County have been heating up lately though Lester Bagley states the team has been talking to a few suburbs.
I’m curious to see where the stadium ends up. Hennepin County is tapped out so if the new stadium goes up in Minneapolis there will need to be some creative financing to fund the project. There are two possible Minneapolis sites: the current Metrodome site and behind Target Field. Arden Hills is also a possibility and Ramsey County officials met with Ted Mondale Thursday. Lester Bagley has stated that the Vikings are also talking to some other suburbs as well.
Bottom Line: This is an exciting time for Vikings fans. I believe that a bill will come forth soon that will finally navigate the legislative labyrinth and get to Governor Dayton’s desk. Dayton has shown far more leadership in the last month than Pawlenty did in 8 years. Dayton is willing to twist some arms and he has a point man in Ted Mondale who knows how to get things done in Minnesota. This is the closest the Vikings have ever come to replacing the Metrodome.
Of course there are plenty of folks who don’t want any public money used to build stadiums for billionaires. The reality of the situation is that nearly all corporations need welfare to survive. The NFL is no different. State supported capitalism cannot exist without state support. If the stadium doesn’t get built the Vikings will leave then we will spend a lot more money to lure another team 5 or 10 years down the line. Git ‘er done!!