Vikings stadium deal up in the air

Plans for the stadium are in limbo as lawmakers confer.

John Hageman

As the clock struck midnight on the Minnesota Legislature on Tuesday, a resolution on a new Minnesota Vikings stadium remained unfinished.

A flurry of activity and news reports about a possible stadium deal in recent weeks quieted as legislators focused on reaching a deal to balance the stateâÄôs budget.

But the Vikings remain intent on reaching a deal for state funding this year.

The team is moving forward with a $1.1 billion proposal which would place a new stadium in Arden Hills, Minn., about 10 miles northeast of Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Ramsey County and the team announced the partnership May 10 âÄî a day after Minneapolis proposed a plan to keep the Vikings at the Metrodome site.

Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said the team is still working with legislators to draft an Arden Hills proposal for consideration in the Legislature during a special session. He added that the team âÄúisnâÄôt interestedâÄù in waiting until next year for an agreement.

The Vikings seem to have no interest in playing at the Metrodome site.

The team would extend its lease at the Metrodome past this season only if a stadium deal is in place, Anderson said.

Dayton hadnâÄôt announced when a special session will take place by press time.

Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, and Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, introduced a stadium bill in mid-April, but the bill made no progress in the Legislature.

Leading lawmakers said in recent weeks that a stadium proposal would take a back seat to the budget debate that engulfed the Capitol.

A month after the bill was introduced and just days before the legislative session ended, the city of Minneapolis proposed building a new stadium on the Metrodome site. The plan would also help fund renovations to the Target Center.

The proposed 65,000-seat stadium on the abandoned ammunitions plant in suburban Arden Hills would include a retractable roof.

The site requires far more road and transportation improvements than the Minneapolis location, tallying to about $131 million, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Dayton has repeatedly said the state would contribute no more than $300 million to the stadium. National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell recently said the league would contribute to a new stadium but hasnâÄôt specified how much.

But even with the slow progress made in the last few weeks of the legislative session, the Vikings are hoping that a stadium deal comes out of the special session.