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Lanning: 'Frustrating' to not have stadium details

  • Blog Post by: Mike Kaszuba
  • May 16, 2011 - 12:36 PM
With a week before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn, the chief House author of the Minnesota Vikings stadium plan said Monday it was “frustrating” to not yet have details from Ramsey County and the team on their proposal to build the facility in Arden Hills.
Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said he reviewed a draft proposal from the county and team over the weekend but said there remained “a number of issues that need to get resolved – in addition to transportation.” State officials said the $1 billion stadium would need at least $175 million in surrounding road improvements, a figure the team is disputing as too high.
Once Lanning agreed to the county and the team's draft proposal, he said, the language would be inserted in Lanning's proposed legislation that was introduced last month.
Lanning said there were still no legislative hearings planned for the stadium proposal. “We’ve got to know what we’re talking about here in terms of details, and we don’t have the details,” he said.
Lanning also said that the stadium’s naming rights issue – the team and the state both want the naming rights revenue – has not been resolved. “That’s part of our [state] revenue stream,” he said. “So, we’ve got some negotiating to do.”
Under a 12-page preliminary agreement released by the Vikings and the county last week, the team would pay $407 million of the stadium’s costs. The county, through a half percent county wide sales tax, would raise $350 million and the state would contribute $300 million
Gov. Mark Dayton, who has been critical of the Arden Hills stadium plan, said Monday he and state transportation commissioner Tom Sorel were scheduled to meet with Ramsey County officials later in the day.
On Friday, Dayton said the Arden Hills proposal was too financially generous to the Vikings. “I could see why that would be appealing to the Vikings. I don’t know why Ramsey County agreed to it,” he said.

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