Twin Cities Suburb To Build New Stadium For Vikings
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ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (AP) Officials in a Twin Cities suburb said Tuesday they have reached an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings to lure the NFL team away from their longtime home in Minneapolis with a retractable-roof stadium built on a Superfund site.
The site of the stadium would be the former Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant property in Arden Hills, about 10 miles from the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The agreement calls for an $884 million stadium and an additional $173 million for on-site infrastructure, parking and environmental costs.
Ramsey County said the Vikings will commit $407 million to the project – 44 percent of the stadium costs and 39 percent of the overall costs. The county’s share would be $350 million, to be financed by a half-cent sales tax increase.
Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett, whose district includes the site, said in a news release that the proposed project would “turn an environmental liability into an asset, clean up the largest Superfund site in the state, return property to the tax rolls, put people to work and provide for much-needed transportation infrastructure upgrades.”
The announcement comes one day after Minneapolis officials pitched a plan to keep the team downtown. It also came just hours after Gov. Mark Dayton said fixing up roads near the Arden Hills site would likely cost at least $175 million and up to $240 million if it includes restaurants, hotels and other amenities.
Still, Dayton said he could support either site as long as the state share doesn’t exceed $300 million.
The Vikings have been pressing for a new stadium for years, but the team’s push took on new urgency after the Metrodome’s roof collapsed under the weight of a December snowstorm and as the team plays out the final season on its lease. It is one of four NFL franchises thought to be possibilities to relocate to the vacant Los Angeles market.
The stadium discussion had been largely put off at the Capitol as legislators struggle to resolve a $5 billion state deficit. It picked up speed last week, with Dayton saying he had met privately with owners Zygi and Mark Wilf and he was ready to sign a stadium bill.
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