Vikings to announce stadium plan in Arden Hills
The Minnesota Vikings will hold a joint news conference this afternoon with officials from Ramsey County to announce plans to construct a new stadium for the team in Arden Hills, but Gov. Mark Dayton has thrown some cold water on the plan.
Owner Zygi Wilf and coach Leslie Frazier are scheduled to appear at a briefing in St. Paul, Minn., at 4 p.m. EDT but whether or not the stadium there ever advances beyond the planning stages remains to be seen. The state legislature will meet for only 13 more days and it’s a complicated venture that needs cooperation from the state government, local government and team.
At this point, you wonder if the state will be on board for this plan. That is because according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune there is significant infrastructure improvements needed to build a stadium in Arden Hills, work that could cut directly into the $300 million Dayton has said the state will look to contribute.
Per the report, improved roads would cost anywhere from $175 million to $240 million and Dayton says that money will come from the total package.
“I’ll support either project up to $300 million,” Dayton said.
What Dayton will not do is expedite the order in which road work needs to be done, work that would be mandatory for put up a stadium for the NFL franchise in Arden Hills. Whether or not this is enough to lead the Vikings back to Minneapolis for a potential stadium there remains to be seen. It’s possible a deal doesn’t get done before the state legislature adjourns May 23. The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome expires May 23.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/" target="_blank">Chicago Tribune