Get the stadium deal moving

There are many ideas for a new Viking’s stadium, but nobody’s acted on them.

David Steinberg

By now everyone has heard something about the issues surrounding a new VikingâÄôs stadium âÄî although there are now so many possibilities of what that âÄúsomethingâÄù could be that itâÄôs hard to keep track.

Will it be in Minneapolis? Arden Hills? What about the new roof and turf that was just installed at the Metrodome? And what will the team do in the interim once the lease has expired while waiting for a new venue to be established? These are just some of the questions weâÄôve heard at this point, with few corresponding answers.

With the state government shutdown still in the rearview mirror, politicians keep pushing this issue down the road. However, with the Metrodome lease expiration looming this coming February, they must make decisions soon.

Both the Vikings management and the state government have stated that Arden Hills is their priority. Yet how this endeavor will be paid for is still unknown. A Ramsey County estimate would ask for $407 million from the Vikings, $300 million from the state and $350 million from the county through an increased sales tax. But questions persist about whether the public, including those with no interest in the team, should have to pay for a new stadium.

Complicating things, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson wrote a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton requesting $30.5 million from the state for what the city of Minneapolis has done to preserve the Metrodome throughout its 30 years. While R.T. Rybak is not against the Arden Hills proposal and Dayton is not against the repayment to Minneapolis, no decisions have been made.

Someone must act on these ideas âÄî and soon âÄî to create a viable option for all parties. Otherwise, the only option might be another one that has been floating around for a while: complete team relocation.

 

David Steinberg welcomes comments at [email protected]