With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Posts about Vikings

Dayton says state should clean up Arden Hills site, with or without stadium

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: January 20, 2012 - 1:26 PM

The state should contribute $30 million to clean up the former ammunitions plant site at Arden Hills this year if the Ramsey County locations is not selected as the future home of the Minnesota Vikings, Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday.

"I told the county commissioners that I would put in and work hard for $30 million of bonding to clean up the site if the project, if the stadium goes elsewhere so we can get that ready to be developed. It is just a fabulous piece of property potentially," Dayton said. He said he did not put the money in the borrowing proposal he released last week because he did not want to prejudge where the stadium would be built.

Ramsey County officials and the Vikings have been working together for months to locate a new stadium on the sprawling Arden Hills land.

"I can see why the Vikings find the site appealing," said Dayton.

The governor Friday praised Ramsey County officials for their work with the Vikings.

"They've been consistent, they've been clear and they have a workable plan, except for the Legislature," Dayton said.

Legislative leaders have said they would not approve a Ramsey County tax to raise money for a stadium-building project without a local referendum. Officials believe a referendum would fail before voters, which makes the local tax an untenable source of financing.

"If for perchance, and I hope this doesn't happen but it is a genuine possibility...the (stadium) decision is postponed until 2013,as some would prefer, then there would be an option for Ramsey County to put one or both of those (tax) proposals on the ballot next November and see if people support it or not," the governor said.

On Friday, the governor will meet with Father John Bauer of Minneapolis' Basilica of St. Mary's. Bauer has objected to the stadium potentially being built on Minneapolis' Linden Avenue.

This week, Dayton said the Linden Avenue site may make the most sense as the spot for a new stadium. But he said Friday that the meeting with Bauer should not be taken as a sign the state is moving full steam ahead with Linden Avenue.

"We all want to look at what their objections are and see whether they could be resolved or not. I'm not full steam ahead...I'm not prepared to recommend that site. I don't consider it viable as it stands today. There may be other unanswered questions," Dayton said. He repeated that the due diligence had not been completed on any site to give it his unvarnished endorsement as a future stadium site.

 

Lawmakers and the governor to get together for a football party on Sunday

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: December 6, 2011 - 2:07 PM

The gang of Capitol leaders is going to get together for a football party.

Gov. Mark Dayton said, at Republican state Sen. Julie Rosen's suggestion, he will host legislative leaders at the governor's residence this Sunday to watch the Minnesota Vikings play.

"It's going to be bipartisan," Dayton said.

Rosen, R-Fairmont, is the Senate's chief author of the Vikings stadium measure.

Half a billion from Vikings for new stadium?

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: September 14, 2011 - 4:56 PM

The Minnesota Vikings may end up on the hook for spending half a billion dollars on the proposed new stadium at Arden Hills.

"If you look at the cost escalation for a project like this...and the fact their contract, as written now, they are responsible for that, I think it is fair to say they'll be maybe close to half a billion dollars," Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday.

Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development, did not warm to the half a billion figure but did not rule it out.

"The last public number was 407 (million dollars)," he said. Adding on to that , he said, is "the commitment to make it a people's stadium" so that events besides football games can happen at the new stadium, a move that adds another $20 million a year. Plus, "we're on the hook for any cost overruns on the stadium" and, Bagley said, the Vikings have or will agree to pay any cost overruns on the surrounding roads that would need improvement for the new stadium.

He said the ultimate amount the Vikings would pay was "in negotiations."

Both Bagley and Dayton said the Vikings are still only looking at the Ramsey County site in  Arden Hills for their new home.

"It is plan A and it's Arden Hills," Bagley said.

Dayton said if everything moves forward smoothly the state could still have a special session this year to approve the state's financial contribution and allow for Ramsey County's contributions.

But there is a lot of ground to cover between now and then.

By mid-October, the state is due to produce a quick, but complete assessment of the Arden Hills site that would look at both environmental and transportation issues.

Bagley said he was sure that would be an "honest, fair assessment of the project" that would help eliminate the risk involved in a project of that size.

"We think and we hope that it will give us the green light," Bagley said.

 

Dayton: State will pay no more than $300 million for stadium

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: May 11, 2011 - 11:49 AM

The day after the Minnesota Vikings announced the had a deal to build a new stadium in Ramsey County, Gov. Mark Dayton reiterated that the state would not pay extra to fund the more expensive plan.

According to the state’s Transportation Department, the Ramsey County site would require a minimum of $175 million in state highway improvements to work. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said Tuesday that the Arden Hills site would cost as much as $1.28 billion; rebuilding the Metrodome in Minneapolis could cost $895 million.

Drawing of proposed Ramsey County Vikings site

Drawing of proposed Ramsey County Vikings site

 

“I think the numbers are clear --  $300 million from the state….If they can make that work then we have an agreement,” Dayton said Wednesday. “If the state has highway improvements are necessary as part of that then that gets subtracted from the $300 million.”

The governor said the highway improvements would come at a time when the state’s transportation dollars are short.

“It is very clear to everybody that here in Minnesota…that the state funding for highway construction is limited and we need to address that probably in the next session. But for the time being the projects are lined up and we not going to change the sequencing of the projects because of a project development,” Dayton said.

Regarding stadium bonds, he said: “The bonds that are going to be issued are not going to be paid with general fund revenues or general tax. They are going to be repaid with the proceeds from the stadium.”

Despite potential stumbling blocks, the governor said the deal could be done before lawmakers end the session on May 23.

“I believe we are on track that this could be done but obviously (we) still have to nail down the details and the financing and the cost and who is going to responsible for what,” Dayton said.

Asked if the team owners made the right decision by picking Ramsey County over Minneapolis the governor said: “I think hey made the right decision for themselves. They are very enthusiastic…and if they are willing to pay what it takes to do this then everybody benefits…The more they want to get involved, the more they want to put into this, then the bigger they can make this…then I think people will be excited by it and flock to it and it will be a great attracting in Minnesota.”

Dayton said he spoke to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf Tuesday morning, before the team announced they wanted to build a new stadium in Arden Hills, but not since then. He said he was available to talk to the Wilfs but Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commissioner Ted Mondale was his person on the project.

Dayton: State will pay no more than $300 million for stadium

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: May 11, 2011 - 11:49 AM

The day after the Minnesota Vikings announced the had a deal to build a new stadium in Ramsey County, Gov. Mark Dayton reiterated that the state would not pay extra to fund the more expensive plan.

According to the state’s Transportation Department, the Ramsey County site would require a minimum of $175 million in state highway improvements to work. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said Tuesday that the Arden Hills site would cost as much as $1.28 billion; rebuilding the Metrodome in Minneapolis could cost $895 million.

Drawing of proposed Ramsey County Vikings site

Drawing of proposed Ramsey County Vikings site

 

“I think the numbers are clear --  $300 million from the state….If they can make that work then we have an agreement,” Dayton said Wednesday. “If the state has highway improvements are necessary as part of that then that gets subtracted from the $300 million.”

The governor said the highway improvements would come at a time when the state’s transportation dollars are short.

“It is very clear to everybody that here in Minnesota…that the state funding for highway construction is limited and we need to address that probably in the next session. But for the time being the projects are lined up and we not going to change the sequencing of the projects because of a project development,” Dayton said.

Regarding stadium bonds, he said: “The bonds that are going to be issued are not going to be paid with general fund revenues or general tax. They are going to be repaid with the proceeds from the stadium.”

Despite potential stumbling blocks, the governor said the deal could be done before lawmakers end the session on May 23.

“I believe we are on track that this could be done but obviously (we) still have to nail down the details and the financing and the cost and who is going to responsible for what,” Dayton said.

Asked if the team owners made the right decision by picking Ramsey County over Minneapolis the governor said: “I think hey made the right decision for themselves. They are very enthusiastic…and if they are willing to pay what it takes to do this then everybody benefits…The more they want to get involved, the more they want to put into this, then the bigger they can make this…then I think people will be excited by it and flock to it and it will be a great attracting in Minnesota.”

Dayton said he spoke to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf Tuesday morning, before the team announced they wanted to build a new stadium in Arden Hills, but not since then. He said he was available to talk to the Wilfs but Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commissioner Ted Mondale was his person on the project.

      

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