Gov. Mark Dayton and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf listened to Rep. Morrie Lanning speak at the Capitol after speaking in private about the proposed Ramsey County Stadium Tuesday.

Renee Jones Schneider, Dml - Star Tribune

Goal on Vikings stadium deadline fading

  • Article by: KEVIN DUCHSCHERE
  • Star Tribune
  • June 17, 2011 - 12:57 AM

It appears unlikely that the remaining details in the Vikings stadium bill will be finished by the end of this week, as stadium proponents had hoped.

But the missed deadline might make little difference anyway, since no special session has been called in which to act on the bill.

"Obviously, it all depends on whether we have a special session the last week of the month, and at this point that's still very much up in the air," Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, one of the bill's lead sponsors, said Thursday.

Legislators want to have enough time before a special session to conduct hearings on the stadium bill.

The major hurdle now, as it has been for weeks, is how to plug a financing hole of as much as $131 million to pay for road upgrades that state transportation officials say would be needed near the proposed $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills.

Lanning said negotiators also are dealing with other unresolved issues.

One has to do with a financing gap in the state's $300 million contribution that opened when the Revenue Department found that a proposed sports memorabilia tax would generate about half the funding previously figured.

"We have to come up with revenue streams that cover the state's investment," Lanning said.

Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett, who has helped lead the charge for an Arden Hills stadium, said that Friday was never a hard-and-fast deadline.

"That was their goal, to do it by Friday," he said, adding that missing it won't affect the bill.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to call a special session once agreement is reached with Republican legislative leaders on closing the budget gap.

No deal would mean that the state government will shut down at the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Kevin Duchschere • 612-673-4455

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