Vikings stadium plans: High profile to comic relief

Nine proposals sent to Gov. Mark Dayton range from the high-profile sites in Minneapolis and Arden Hills to comic relief plans that include slapping one together with local lumber.

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A new rendering of the proposed Vikings stadium in Arden Hills during winter.

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Gov. Mark Dayton began sifting through nine plans Friday to build a Minnesota Vikings stadium, focusing on two proposals -- one for a $1.1 billion stadium in Ramsey County's Arden Hills and the other that would put the project where the Metrodome now sits.

The governor also met Friday with the rector of the Basilica of St. Mary, another possible Minneapolis stadium location. A Dayton spokesperson said the governor would spend the weekend studying the proposals and would have no comment until next week.

With the Legislature set to convene Jan. 24, the first stadium-related legislative bills also emerged Friday, including one that suggests simply transferring ownership of the Metrodome. Any improvements to the Dome site would be left up to the team.

The nine plans range from the serious to the strange and comical. One shows a so-called Apple iDome featuring a giant cellphone superimposed on a stadium while another claims all of the stadium building materials could be bought at Menards for about $100,000.

Bob Roscoe of Minneapolis said his stadium plan could not only be constructed entirely from materials available at Menards but also be "fabricated by the box store's night crew." His estimated cost? $100,006.

"[It] just came to me as I was driving across the Franklin Avenue bridge," Roscoe said Friday.

Proposals for a stadium near the Basilica are far pricier, but more realistic.

However, there could be new problems with the site near the historic church.

The Vikings have been eyeing the so-called Linden Avenue site on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, but the city's charter could pose a steeper political climb than the Metrodome. That's because the site includes city-owned land, which requires a super-majority vote of the City Council -- nine of the 13 members -- to approve the sale.

The site is home to the city’s Currie Maintenance Facility, where large city vehicles are stored and repaired.

The city charter states: "No real estate belonging to said City shall be sold unless ordered sold by a vote of two-thirds ( 2/3) of all the members of the City Council."

A 'deal-breaker'?

City Council Member Lisa Goodman called it "one of the deal-breakers." Goodman is chairwoman of the city's community development committee and the Linden Avenue site is in her ward.

A deputy city attorney, however, said Friday that the Legislature could simply override the super-majority requirement.

City Council President Barb Johnson said she was aware of the nine-vote issue, but said it could be nullified by a state law addressing land sales from one public entity to another.

"If you sell land from one public entity to another public entity, supposedly there's state law about that," Johnson said.

"But I'm not a lawyer," she added.

Eric Roper • 612-673-1723 Mike Kaszuba • 651-925-5045

 

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