Vikings owners send letters to state legislators, governorMinnesota News
-- Legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton received letters from the Minnesota Vikings owners Saturday, playing down a disagreement about transportation costs to build a new stadium.
ST. PAUL - Legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton received letters from the Minnesota Vikings owners Saturday, playing down a disagreement about transportation costs to build a new stadium.
“We know that transportation infrastructure is an important concern, but we do not want this to be a barrier to having a first-class, multi-use stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, our fans and all Minnesotans,” brothers Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf wrote.
The Dayton administration estimates the state would need to pay at least $174 million to upgrade roads in the area to handle traffic taking 65,000 fans to a new northwestern Ramsey County stadium on game day.
Dayton and authors of the legislative bills to authorize a stadium insist the state pay no more than $300 million toward a $1 billion stadium.
One of the authors, Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said he is awaiting information from Ramsey County before he can ask for a committee hearing on the bill.
He and Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, plan to meet with Dayton on Monday about the stadium.
“I haven’t given up hope, yet,” Lanning said Saturday night, but later added: “We have real issues that we have to get resolved. … We have a pretty tall challenge.”
Lanning said he agrees with Dayton’s comments that the Vikings seem to be getting too good a financial deal in their Ramsey County proposal.
The Wilfs say in their letter that they think they have done what state leaders wanted.
Time is running out, with May 23 the last day the Legislature is to be in session and most emphasis in the remaining days being placed on finishing a two-year state budget. A stadium bill would need to be heard by several legislative committees before reaching votes in the House and Senate.