Gov. Mark Dayton will get a birds-eye view of the possible sites for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium this week.

During a trip to St. Cloud on Thursday, Dayton plans to have the State Patrol helicopter fly over the proposed sites for the new stadium.

“I have driven around the sites, but I want to take advantage of this opportunity,” Dayton said Wednesday.

On Friday morning, Dayton plans to meet with Republican legislative leaders, who will be crucial to any stadium deal.

The owners of the Vikings are also hoping to have a meeting this week, Dayton said.

The Vikings have an agreement with Ramsey County officials to build a $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills, which will be largely paid for with taxpayer dollars. But Minneapolis officials are anticipating the Ramsey County deal might fall apart, so they are preparing a proposal to keep the team in at one of three sites in downtown.

Dayton has pledged to unveil his stadium recommendations Nov. 7 and hopes to call a legislative session to approve a plan before Thanksgiving.

The Vikings are in the last year of their contract at the Metrodome and could leave the state if no stadium deal is reached.


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