Wilfs renew push for Arden Hills

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 11, 2011 - 8:54 PM

Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf renewed their call Friday for a special legislative session to approve a publicly subsidized $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills.

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The Minnesota Vikings released this artist's rendering of what a proposed Arden Hills Vikings stadium might look like.

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Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf renewed their call Friday for a special legislative session to approve a publicly subsidized $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills.

In a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton, the Wilfs reiterated that Arden Hills is their preferred stadium site and that their $407 million funding pledge applies only to a stadium there and not another location.

"The Vikings stand ready to work with you and state leaders during a special legislative session this fall or winter," they wrote. "By doing so, we can put thousands of people back to work now and prevent further cost delays."

Along with their letter to Dayton, the Wilfs attached color illustrations of a tailgating scene outside a stadium labeled "Minnesota Sports Complex," and an aerial view of the stadium at night with the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the distance.

The Wilfs called the illustrations "the most up-to-date images of the potential of a new multi-purpose facility in Arden Hills."

Vikings officials expressed concern this week that what appeared to be momentum toward cutting a stadium deal was lost when House Speaker Kurt Zellers said he opposed a special session to consider a stadium bill before the Legislature meets in late January.

The Wilfs said Friday that they were disappointed that Ramsey County's proposed half-cent sales tax has been dropped as funding option. But they said they're "encouraged" by recent meetings of legislative leaders about the stadium, and the fact that leaders "are now focused on viable revenue streams that are sufficient to fund the project."

The team, they said, is open to how the public share of the stadium is funded.

Kevin Duchschere • 612-673-4455

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